THE STRUGGLES of MANY

All too often we’re caught up in our own lives, never really thinking of those around us. We’re quick to be too busy to talk, we’re quick to judge, we’re quick to gives ourselves praises for our accomplishments and judgmental when others don’t complement our hard work.

We’re all busy, correct? We’re all handling something in our life that causes extra stress or brings joy to our day; however, more often than not we put ourselves first.

For the last two months I’ve been busy, so busy with work, family, trying to stay ahead of housework, paying bills, holidays, rolling into a new year with school and work, my schedule, my spouse’s schedule, my children’s’ schedules, upcoming trips for school events, basketball, softball, baseball… oh my, have I forgotten anything???

In all of that chaos, I hadn’t noticed what was happening around me. My life is always fast paced and I’m very organized so normally I’m very aware of not only my life, but those that I care about, those that I’m professionally connected with, and my friends, but somehow I had fallen short.

It all began about mid-December, I was so inundated with work after several coworkers decided to take time off to be with their families during the holidays. For three weeks I was in early and out late, rarely taking time for lunch and thankful when my spouse or one of my coworkers would surprise me with something to eat. I found myself in the office on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day just to make sure that everyone that was working knew they were appreciated, and then the transition to a new company. I knew it was coming and had prepared in advance with what I needed to do; however, after being gone during some crucial days in December, my coworkers were not as prepared and I found myself in the mix of their work too.

I just knew that everything would settle down in January; however, it did not. Once again I found myself alone, trudging through the daily grind as a preplanned vacation, sick children, inclement weather, and so on… kept my coworkers away and once again I was “last man standing”. I faced each work day with a smile and a positive attitude, what else could I do. I wasn’t going to fail. When it’s a challenge, I thrive.

The dust began to settle after everyone finally returned to work, and that’s when I had time to reach out to people in my life that I hadn’t had time to connect with for weeks. Oh how my heart sank as I learned that an amazing person in my life had begun their fight against cancer, that two others were dealing with workplace bullying from their supervisors and they don’t work for the same business… oh my, I’ve been too disconnected.

Not too long ago I read an interesting take on Wearing Hope. I wish I had a copy of this piece, it really made me think. From what I can remember, it talked about Faith, Hope and Love being Spiritual Gifts, powerful but abstract. So how do we wear them?

Well, I’m definitely not going to do this piece justice, and the day I read this I thought to myself that I would never forget what I had read.. oops. So, I’ll give it my best try… we wear our faith and don it every day to live for Christ, our hearts are wrapped in faith and knows God’s love, we’re safe from sin and blows inflicted by life, our trust is tested every day and we are betrayed by those we call friend and at times even loved ones; however, we face these trials clothed in love and forgiveness, and we’re protected by hope as we focus on God’s salvation.

1 Corinthians 13:13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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