Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tired of the Complaining

And by that I mean, by me.  Currently, my family and I are dealing with a number of challenges, including the current whopper of my mom's surgery and slow recovery.  It's been discouraging and frustrating to say the least.  So it's been very, very easy to feel hopeless and sometimes paralyzed in the mire of such challenges.  But Paul recently forwarded this newsletter he got from St. George's for the Lenten season.  It was a list of things to "Fast From and Feast On".  I wasn't raised going to church but I found the list very inspiring and encouraging.  The suggestions that spoke to me were:

"Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation."
"Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the reality of light."
"Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude."
"Fast from anger; Feast on patience."

And it's helped my outlook greatly.  As frustrating as the struggles are, I'm focusing on what I can do or have any bit of control of.  It also allowed me to recognize and appreciate the good folks that we are fortunate to have in our lives, from a nursing or health aide to good friends who allow me to rant, especially over coffee and food.  Not only have such folks been a source of comfort and support, they have been role models on going onward and upward.

In case you're interested, here's the full list:

Fast From - Feast On

The Feast of the great celebration of Easter when all is made new is the comfort that allows us strength during the great 40 day Fast.

Fast From-Feast On

Fast from judging others; Feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; Feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness; Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; Feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; Feast on divine order.
Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; Feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; Feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; Feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; Feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragements; Feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; Feast on verities that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; Feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; Feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow; Feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip; Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; Feast on prayer that [strengthens].

-William Arthur Ward (American author, teacher and pastor, 1921-1994.)


Pound said...

i was overwhelmed when you told me about your mom's sitch, and she's not even my mom. it's ok to feel overwhelmed just don't lose sight of the moment and what is good. that list is awesome.

TillyHand said...

I love the 'fast' list too...I can use the help! I'm so glad you're working on the positives...I've been concerned and thinking about you. I know how very hard this is...