Friday, December 29, 2006

Post-Christmas - Let down or looking up?

December 29 dawns gray & bleak in Aurora as I sit here with my morning coffee. It is a curious thing to be spending this much time away from home.

It is great to be able to see our “kids” and grandkids but they have their own lives and once the excitement of first seeing them is past and the Christmas presents are unwrapped and either put aside or in use there seems to be a let down.

I guess this is a milder form of the “post-whatever” syndrome – you know “post-traumtic”, “post-partum” -- etc. Of course people who experience these things are undergoing serious emotional trauma and what I’m experiencing is at worst mild depression or maybe the just the blahs. . (This isn’t a new theme -- I wrote some about this back in November – click HERE)

Mostly though I think it is just reality – life is what we make it (or perhaps better life is how we choose to let God shape it. One of the things that this time gives me is time to meditate and reflect on who I am and where I am going. Maybe that sounds a little “heavy” but what I mean is that my imperfections and limitations come to surface and stand in sharp contrast to what I might want God to make of me – I see the gaps between the perfect fruits of a spirit transformed life and crabby old me and I don’t like them – but it is what it is. I am whom I am – Roger was fond of the old saying “God loves me as I am but thankfully he loves me too much to let me stay as I am.” –

So what brings on this “whining” about being imperfect. Pretty arrogant to have the idea that I should be perfect isn’t it? Maybe it is the difference between what I would want in my relationships and communications and the realities of how I am interacting. that most frustrate me but it is my interaction with Linda as we worktogether on aproject that mostmakes me wantlike Charlie Brown to say "Arrghh!!!"

Because we were going to be here for an extended period, Linda & I decided that we would start finishing their basement. Tammye and Chris have been talking about this for over a year and last Christmas I did a preliminary floor plan showing how it could be laid out. So now was time to turn the plans into reality.

Now my father and grandfather were both pretty good carpenters but I have never developed that part of my genetic heritage that much. I certainly helped a lot with building projects as I was growing up and have done some small projects (mostly with experienced advise from either my Dad or my friends Len & Russ who are both good at building). But looking at the bare walssof that basement and having to figure out how to do it was intimidating. The INTERNET is a great thing and I was able to find a site that gave a number of hints and ideas on framing in basement rooms. It is a real challenge with all the piping, electrical and heating stuff cluttering up the ceiling.

Ultimately, you just have to dive in and start, which we have and so far I have about 20 feet of stud wall constructed including a corner and framing around a window. Linda has been helping and she is very helpful.

But the thing is that I hate making mistakes and when I’m doing something like this there are 2 things guaranteed –one I will make mistakes and two even the best work will have imperfections. – Things aren’t perfectly plumb or square and there are warps and twist in the studs which don’t look right. I have a bad habit of wanting to blame others for my mistakes and so it seems everyday I “yell” at Linda because she points out something that doesn’t look right. and we both end up feeling upset.

My question to myself is – why?? – when I know that this is likely to happenwhy I can’t “cut it off at the pass”? I know that the answer is to be sure we have thought it all the way through and understood what could go wrong – measure several times before cutting, check fit, square and plumb before nailing – etc. but it just doesn’t happen and so it I “shoot the messenger” when the mistakes become obvious or complain that she should have noticed that it wasn’t going to work that way. ANd so I look up toGod and ask that he might remove this thorn frommy character.

The other thing I get down about is my inability to have the conversations I would like to have with my son and grandchildren. I sit alone and think of sommany things I want to say but when they are there we talk about the mundaneand watch TV or play somegames. Again I look up -- perhaps as I understand (and I do) the love of my Father despite my poorlistening skills I can communicate my love to them in spite of these imperfections.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows that this is a persistent theme in my behavior. In July I wrote about how my cousin Wilma said that I was melancholy perfectionist. (and I as amateur psychologist looked at this and more or less had to agree with her (click HERE).

Well enough of this –

Today is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

My INTERNET connection is a little flaky as a “piggy back” a wireless connection from somewhere in the neighborhood so my ability to “blog browse” and spend time catching up on the discussion entries from my Berean friends is frustratingly slow.

I did a cursory review of some of my favorite blogs over the past couple of day trying to catch up on several weeks of missed postings.

There is a lot of stuff about Christmas and the post-Christmas – year-end ennui that so often besets us (so I guess I’m not alone in this although it seems it isn’t just the time of year that gets to me)
Bobby Valentine shares some thoughts on the meaning of Christmas (December 25th post) and the work of God’s Spirit in our lives (December 27th post)

I made a visit to my friend Dee Andrews – I hadn’t been by for almost a month and a lot has happened in her life. She is a fascinating story teller and I like “visiting” with her. You’ll get a flavor for some of what she has been writing about from the comment I posted to her site (December 27)

Dee- I loved your $10 gift story. -- except it hit too close to home!!!

Wow! -- I haven't been by for a long time (too long) -- no excuses --life has kept me away and I have missed my friends. I pray that your family situation is working itself out--so often we have to struggle to "let go & let God"-- even when we can't see any way that God can fix it because human choices cast aside his precious gifts and precious love.

I too struggle with the "privacy" issue in blogging. I started this adventure by keeping a private journal and then copying parts to the blog. I found it was difficult to put that extra editting in and so I have avoided writing anything that Iwouldn't want my dearest friend (my wife)or my worst enemy (Satan I guess) to see and repeat. I have actually found that there wasn't too much that I was willing to write down that I couldn't share but certainly there is a "closet in my heart" that I can't open for anyone --or at least that's what I think.

The news about yours eyes is wonderful --

Well a few more days and 2006 is history.
May God grant you the richest blessings in 2007

God Bless


Tim Archer said...

Hope you have a blessed New Year.

Grace and peace,

JD said...

Glad to see new entries in your blog, Charlie. I was missing you!

2007 ... what will it all be... lots to ponder!