Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HDG: Expecting Gold

hump day

Dilemma: my hands are too shaky from all the meds right now to make you a pretty new canvas for today… BUT, I just like these giveaway days too much to skip one. To satisfy my need to give stuff away and my inability to write legibly at the moment, I’ve decided to do a repost of a canvas I’ve already made in the past. This way, you still get a canvas, but I get a little extra time to make it for you!

Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter the drawing and as soon as my hands get steady again, I’ll mail out a canvas that looks just like the one below to the winner.

Well, it might not look just like the one below. They are handmade, after all. But it’ll look pretty darn close. smile_wink

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Expecting Gold
[originally posted: June 21, 2008]

I was reading through some old posts and I realized just how much I refer to life being about the silver lining. That's not just some sort of "Pollyanna-ish" way to look at life for me. There is a quote on the wall in my alcove by Maurice Setter that says "Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold." I love that quote not because of the optimistic silver lining, but because of its focus on the expectation of something better.

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I think our expectations of what we want life to be often overshadow the good things that are already in front of us... and that's when we miss the silver lining. When my sister was going through a divorce, we were on the phone talking about hard decisions and out of my mouth came these words that I would later cling to for myself as well... "All God asks of us is to live the best life we can with what we are given." The point is, we are all given different blessings and different crosses to bear, which means we can only take care of what's in front of us in that moment and do the best we can.

I don't know if it brought any relief to my sister, but as my life changed over the years it proved to be something I needed to hear. I needed to remind myself that my old gifts were gone, and they didn't serve me in living my best life anymore. I had new gifts and crosses given to me, and I had to rethink how to live my life with them. It took awhile to find my new normal, and that continues to change on a daily basis. But when my focus is on living the best life I can with what I have in that moment, I always find my silver lining. I'm not expecting the gold I used to have. I'm not looking for the gold that I think I should have. I'm looking at the silver right in front of me and saying thank you every day.

And I know I can't just apply this to my own life... I have to apply it to the people in my life as well. If I am really allowing the people around me to live the best life they can with what they are given, I can't put my own conditions on them. Some people have been given more of a capacity for compassion, some for actions, some for being loving. I have to trust that people are doing the best they can, so instead of expecting gold from every person in every situation I can be thankful for the silver lining they inevitably bring to my life in other ways.

Same applies to my body and my health. I am always prefacing any plans I make with the stipulation that I won't know until the day of if any of it will happen. Heck, I really won't know until the minute of. Back when I was able to get out and about, my friend Meg had picked me up one night to go watch Susie's husband Mark play in his band. I knew before we left that my day hadn't gone smoothly, but I was sure I could push through the pain and go with them. I got in her car, and during the very short ride to Main Street the shooting pains in my leg had me shifting around trying to find a comfortable way to sit. We got to the bar, I got out of the car and took about three steps on my crutches - and I was stuck. I couldn't stand up straight, couldn't walk to the bar, couldn't walk back to the car. [Yes, it was as embarrassing as you are imagining.] Susie and her brother Steve helped me to the car and Meg drove me straight back home.

I was hoping for gold, but I wasn't expecting it. Deep down I knew there was a huge chance the night wasn't going to play out as I had hoped... but I didn't miss the silver linings. Steve and Susie were there to help me into the car. Meg wasn't worried about missing the first set and instead made sure I got home ok. And here's the biggest silver lining of them all: all of those people would try again with me any time. Really, how can I be anything less than grateful for that?

Now, let me just say that sometimes disappointment weighs heavy on me. But in my disappointment, the same rules still apply... I do the best I can with what I have. Is it usually all I want to do? No. But in the end, focusing on the silver lining is what gets me through the day.

I really think, in this life, we find what we are meant to do when we stop focusing on what we are kept from doing. I have to remind myself of that sometimes, but the more I acknowledge that silver lining, the less I notice the gold that's out of reach.

So tell me, what silver linings have blessed you today?

Leave a comment before midnight CST to win a [yet-to-be-made] canvas! Only one comment per person, please…

41 comments:

  1. I get so excited when I see you have a new post! Since I live so far west, I get them "early." I pray that you would be blessed with steadiness, not just for the giveaway, but for you! The giveaway doesn't hurt, though. Just being honest! Your canvases are fabulous! I'd order one, and someday will, but just now work isn't flowing in for my wonderful husband. The silver lining is all the time we get together and the home projects (that don't cost too much) that are getting done! He's also able to spend time with friends that are camping on our place. Yeah, that happens sometimes in our neck of the woods. Thanks for that perspective, yet again!

    Recent blog:=- Memorization Monday

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  2. I love that saying on that canvas.

    I received mine today....Thought I would let you know that it came. It is beautiful!! Thank You again! :)

    Recent blog:=- What’s On Your Mind ‘09 - Photos

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  3. Robynn's RavingsJune 17, 2009 at 3:15 AM

    Don't include me as I won one recently (that I LOVE but I want someone else to have a chance). Just wanted to say I'm sorry you are experiencing medicine side-effects. Probably the jangling of your nerves didn't help either. Grrrrrr!

    Recent blog:=- Sleeping Sickness

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  4. Gitz,
    You are so inspiring. I think my day will go one way but it is sliding in another direction that I'm not so happy with. Your blog refreshes my day and I get going. Thanks!

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  5. Boy, what an AWSOME post! I would love for my 14 year old son to read this and would also love to hang that canvas in his room! Since he sleeps on the bottom bunk, perhaps I could attach it to the bottom of the top bunk so he would see it first thing in the morning and last thing at night!

    Praying for some gold for you! Blessings and hugs!

    Recent blog:=- I Get To

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  6. I found your blog today and I am so amazed by your story. I love your canvases and to win one would be a big treat! Thanks for doing this giveaway.

    Recent blog:=- Works For Me Wednesday

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  7. Good morning!
    I'm sorry you are still recovering from your outing the other day, but I'm glad to hear your spirits are still up.
    Right now my husband has been in China for several weeks. Although we miss him terribly, my silver lining is that he has a job to provide for his family AND God-willing, will be coming home this weekend. I can't wait to see him!
    Thanks for taking your time to post these awesome blogs every morning.

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  8. I have this button on my blog. I love it.
    Thanks.

    Recent undefined:=-

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  9. Your writing has been a silver lining t me (particularly today) - inspiring, heartfelt....

    I know we live close, not sure how close, but just want you to know that ANY evening if you need anything, you can certainly holla! We're in the phone book! (Yeah, dumb, I know, but oh well).

    Recent blog:=- Moving On: The last Lucky post (perhaps)

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  10. Oh Sara - if I had been able to beat up to this post...I think I would have written the same thing. I've (and this has taken years to develop) convinced myself that throughout my life, I've done the best I could do, with what "life has thrown me". For years, I let some of my children convince my that I wasn't a good enough mom to them. That they were in dire need of things that they didn't get. Yada, yada, yada. After years of reflection - and counseling from near and dear friends...I finally reallized that I truly did do the best I could at any given time. WE had a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes on our backs - and my kids ALL KNEW THAT THEY WERE LOVED!

    This knowledge has become a true silver lining for me. Yes I wasn't perfect...but darn it all, most of my kids have grown up to be happy, productive, kind people - with great children of their own. So, I know that I had to have done a lot of things RIGHT!

    Healing {{{Hugs}}} to you!

    Recent blog:=-

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  11. I love it when you repost something!! I would rather you have steady hands, but you chose a great canvas and a wonderful post to go with it. If I just stop and look around me today, the silver lining I would share with you is the rain today. It means a little more time indoors to rest up and relax. Normally I'd be salivating for a sunny day and would be so disappointed in the clouds and impending rain, but when I slow down long enough to think about it, its such a blessing. I just got a request to watch a Brady Bunch marathon I taped earlier this year for a day just like today! That is pure silver to me :-D

    Love to you and prayers for steadiness and a lessening of symptoms.

    Recent blog:=- Fish tale.

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  12. I love reading your blog and looking at your canvases. It is soo inspiring! I hope your hands are feeling more steady soon.

    I would love the have this on my wall.

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  13. so true, so true. Not easy, but it is so... Thank you for the reminder. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and he will make your path straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6) Have great day...

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  14. Sara,

    Oh, sweet friend. I wish I could do something to help you. It breaks my heart when you aren't feeling quite up to par. Please know that I will be praying for you.

    Right now, I would have to say that I'm just blessed for each day and my many family and friends who are always there to love and support me. The last couple of weeks have been very tough, but I've been able to get through it because of encouraging words and people (YOU being included) leaving such amazing words on my blog. I'm just so blessed. I also know that God is ALWAYS by my side and I don't really need to search for anything more. :)

    Again, I will be praying that you start feeling better. Sending you lots of HUGS!



    Recent blog:=- Leading By Example

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  15. Sara,
    Even if I don't win the giveaway, I won by the lesson you drove home to me in this post. If we keep seeking the end of the rainbow, then we miss the beauty in the place we are currently inhabiting. I need to find the balance between expecting good and focusing on the moment...It's there somewhere. Mindfulness and gratitude go hand in hand.
    Thanks, Cynthia

    Recent blog:=- Finding “Rehoboth”

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  16. Hmm, there could be a lot of different silver linings in my life, so it is hard to choose just one. One would be that I never thought I'd still be living in my condo after 7 years, I thought I'd be in a house with a yard for Martini, but the silver lining is I have the best neighbor EVER downstairs (YOU) and Riley of course!
    Hugs!
    xoxo

    Recent undefined:=-

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  17. Feel better my friend. Peanut and I are praying for you!!!

    LOVE FROM WI,
    Kate

    Recent blog:=- Wordless Week

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  18. This is a great reminder for me. I so often allow my expectations or plans ruin the enjoyment I might have otherwise had when things turn out differently. I keep this quote around to remind me too: "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." Epicurus

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  19. Sara ~ in a lot of ways, you're my silver lining. Your strength, kindness, selflessness, forgiveness and patience reasonate with me every day....as does your sense of humour and clever writing ability! :) Sending prayers your way for healing. Fondly, Cynthia

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  20. My hubby and I have been tightening the belt for a while - sometimes I get so caught up in what I CAN'T buy that I miss out on the beautiful things that are free. Thank you again for your beautiful words.

    Recent blog:=- Lessons from a Temp

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  21. My hubby and I have been tightening the belt for a while - sometimes I get so caught up in what I CAN'T buy that I miss out on the beautiful things that are free. Thank you again for your beautiful words.

    Recent blog:=- Lessons from a Temp

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  22. I love your giveaways ... hope you're feelin' better soon :)

    Recent blog:=- Helping Out Around The House

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  23. Just getting caught up on your post for this week. I just LOVE your attitude. Your attitude about life, about how people treat you, about your health, etc. It's so refreshing to read. Thanks so much for your blogging!

    Hope you & Riley have a WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL day! :-D

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  24. Next time you have a HDG and don't have the energy to make a canvas, I'll donate a free blog makeover to one of your readers. :) (http://www.blogsbymandy.com)

    Recent blog:=- Fan of free fabulous fixes and Facebook?

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  25. Sara, I read your blog every day and you are my silver lining daily. Your strength and love for the Lord are a source of inspiration for me. I have been to the funeral of a friend who leaves behind a husband and 14 year old son this morning. While we were at the funeral another friend's father passed away. So your post today is uplifting for me. Thanks for being the silver lining for so many of us. gay

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  26. Since May 8th, our refrigerator has been on the fritz ... we've had 3 different companies out, 3 different parts replaced .... lost 3 different loads of groceries, bought 3 weeks worth of ice to keep things in a cooler in the kitchen. But the silver lining is that we HAVE a fridge and we HAVE food to eat. The rest is just small stuff. Completely irritating stuff, but small stuff none the less : )
    I do hope that you're feeling better as the day goes on. Take care of you!
    Denise

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  27. Thanks for sharing again Sara! You truly are an inspiration.... I guess my silver lining would be the fact that my son and I have been cooped up inside the last couple of days because of weather and we've made some GREAT memories :) Even though it's been yucky weather and he has been begging to play outside constantly!!

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  28. Thanks for the chance to win one of your beautiful canvases... the saying is great... thanks

    Recent blog:=- Mothers...

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  29. This is one of my favorites. Crossing fingers here.... :-P

    Recent blog:=- VINTAGE THINGIES THURSDAY: Vintage Ironstone and More

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  30. Fantastic words! Saying a prayer for your health.

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  31. I hope you find the right combination of medication. You really must teach Riley how to type.

    I prefer handmade because each piece, canvas, is it's own unique work of art. The fact that is was made by a friend makes me appreciate it even more.

    I can't think of anything that has happened recently.

    When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I was concerned about all the foods I would have to give up. The truth was that most of these foods weren't very healthy. I am now in much better shape than I was 10 years ago. I have found healthy food that taste better than what I use to eat.

    I also had to give up alcohol. I don't miss it in the least, and now think back on all the money I wasted on it.

    When I retired I had to cut my budget. No more buying new books. I discovered the library and it's now one of my favorite destinations.

    I am spending a lot less money now and enjoying life a lot more.



    Recent blog:=- Food As Art

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  32. I love your blog...You are so inspirational! You are so blessed to have your blogger friends and more importantly the ones that get you through each day!

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  33. Thanks for the reminder that as much as we wish life were perfect, we still make the best of it when it's not. :-)

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  34. Sara,
    Thank you so much for your honesty. Pray you are feeling better and the side effect of the meds will wear off soon. Love this canvas. Thanks. :-D

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  35. Thank you so much for your inspiration! Though the rose gardens and stormy seas we are to keep our focus on the Lord, and you have been an encouragement to me through this blog. Not a dutiful focus, but one rooted in joy and delight in Him..

    Recent undefined:=-

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  36. Sara, what makes this such a powerful post is that you truly live your life looking for and noticing the silver lining in everything. You make it look so easy! While I do think I am thankful for the many blessings in my life, it is a good reminder to focus on all the little things that are wonderful! Here's wishing you are feeling better soon and I hope we can connect on the phone sometime in the near future. Would cherish another chance to chat in person!

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  37. Oh Sara, I LOVE this canvas. Sometime ago I had put a pic of it on my blog because it is so true. And it reminds me to count my blessings everytime I look at it.

    Today my silver lining is my babysitter, the grandma in the building who just adores kids. She decided to take my 2 y/o old for 2 hours so I could have a break with my baby. Afterwards I gave her a hug because it was so nice to have that quality time with my baby without being interrupted by other children.

    I hope tomorrow is a better day for your hands. God bless you and Riley.

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  38. After a recent birthday of mine, I sat back and thought about where I "planned" my life would be at this point in time and compared it to where my life has actually ended up. While there are a few pieces of gold I don't have from my "planned" life, all of the silver that makes up my life far out weights the few pieces of missed gold. Thanks for helping me to remember all of the bright and shiny silver that fills my life.

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  39. [BZ -- got your email and am putting this comment in for you so you're in the drawing!] :-D

    Recent blog:=- HDG: Expecting Gold

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  40. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeJune 18, 2009 at 6:32 AM

    Ya know, I didn't read many of my regular blogs yesterday because I was deep into disappointment about something...Should have dropped in to see you. Here's my answer. I'm going to roll this around in my head and my heart today and try to move forward. love to you

    Recent blog:=- Decorating for Summer!

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  41. As I was digging in the yard today, my daughter came outside ... I was expecting, "Can we go to the pool today" ... but instead, received "Hi Daddy. I just came out to say I love you! And tomorrow is Father's Day. You're gonna love what I made you." Okay - so that's really golden ... but the silver is that my two boys are away at church camp for over Father's Day and I was feeling melancholy about that. So - that's the silver and gold!

    Doug

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