Sunday, May 25, 2008

School of Experience

Interesting thought today from a sunday school class I attended with my son Dan. It was about the school of experience that everyone goes through in this life. We can try to make it through our tribulations and trials by ourselves or we can use them as a refining influence when we turn to God in prayer to gain strength and comfort. As we exercise our FAITH in God, He can bless and direct us so that we are strengthened by our experiences.

I've known many who just grit their teeth and get through (survive) whatever faces them but are angry and bitter about the unfairness of being made to deal with health or old age challenges, relationships problems including divorce, death or separation, etc. There is a long list but how we deal with our life's experiences determines the quality of our life and our attitude. It's not what happens to us, it's our reaction to it.

Or as my maternal grandmother Johnson used to say..."if life hands you a lemon, make lemon-ade." She was widowed with five young children to raise in 1920 when her husband died of stomach cancer, but she was a fighter and not a quitter. Went to work, raised her children and was a great influence on all her family. (Photo of four of her children, my mom is in the front center, the other girl is Esther who became the babysitter while her mom worked and two brothers l-r Norman and Clarence.)


  1. Well...I'm one that grits their teeth to survive but I'm still angry and bitter. Not sure how I can change that but I will give your entry some thought. I can be VERY angry.

  2. Hey Lin, I consider myself one that grits my teeth to survive. I keep trying,praying, and enduring until it (whatever it is)is solved or has passed. However, that gets me labeled as one who "sticks my head in the sand".

  3. The sad truth of it is... you usually don't make very good lemonade if the only ingredient is lemon's. It needs a little sugar. And it's better yet with a few strawberries added.

    So, I think the trick is to squeeze all the good you can from a bad experience, and then do all you can to sweeten the memory of it. (another way of saying the bad taste it leaves in your mouth) You can maybe sweeten it a little by looking for some humor and laughing when and where you can... You can make it easier to swallow if you share the burden with a family member or a close pal...

    I believe that we turn to God in times of heartache and confusion. I also believe that God turns to us to act for Him... to carry the answers to a prayer in the friendship and concern we show a sorrowing heart. What is it that Hugh B Brown said... "All to often we wait for God to do something FOR us when He is waiting and anxious to do something THROUGH us." We are His hands, His voice, His arms to surround, caress and protect those who turn to Him for comfort.

    You have such an amazinf heritage Lin. It's no wonder you're a woman of such strength and character. I love your family stories!!

  4. thanks for all your fun comments. i think you make lemons lemonade by your attitude which adds the sweetness to it. otherwise if you are bitter it is bitter. i've found that with a little time, things or situations that were tense can become quite humorous as you look back on them or quite poignant as you contemplate what really happened and the growth it caused you. thanks for being my friends. i love the intereaction and exchanges we are having as we get to know each other. check out mom/caryn's blog she has a hilarious entry about dogs...just click on her name and then her webpage. she's a talented writer.

  5. Another blip to copy and carry cround with me. I love your comments on our comments on your blog. ...whew.

    They were profound, and Perfect!