So here we begin with “Life Lessons from the Lift Chair” Ch. 1
“No one can’t never tell how ya feel by lookin’ at ya”
We would go visit Granny and upon entering her room @ 102 Bluebird Lane (I believe that is right) – each hall in the nursing home had a different name so you could remember where they lived – cause as everyone knows who has ever visited one of these places it all sort of looks and smells the same and is very easy to get lost! We would enter the room and ask her “Granny how are ya feeling today” – and inevitably she would answer “about medium” – it didn’t matter if she was barely able to lift herself up off the bed – or she was mudging around the room – or was sitting in her lift chair – it was always “about medium”
This got me to thinking about a life principle: in many situations “attitude determines outlook, which in turn can mean that your outlook will determine the outcome”
Now just because she maintained an even keel about her current physical situation and ailments didn’t make her magically better whenever she wanted it to – but I do believe that it helped her overcome in a lot of circumstances where others would have just simply given up. This was also found to be true on the occasions where my parents would go to visit her and it would be right around “dinner” time (now for most people that means supper or the evening meal but oh how tricky it can be in this “neck of the woods” when dinner can also mean lunch!). Mom and dad would go in and she would be laying down and not doing well – but if they even dared mentioned going to lunch she would perk up a lil and say “well could we go get pizza” and mom and dad would just smile and assure her that they could do that and then off to the local Pizza Inn to get her some pizza. Her attitude towards pizza would determin her outlook on the day and the outlook would in turn change the outcome.
I also like Granny’s response in the fact that she would always reply “about medium” – you see she didn’t talk about how bad she felt and go overboard with the reality of how she was suffering physically – nor did she try to build it up as though she was doing so wonderful and had no problems. She mainted and even balance. This was a lesson later handed down to my sister and I from our parents. They encouraged to not get “too high with the highs or too low with the lows” – this is some simple but great advice. Life is going to throw a lot your way – but if you don’t get too out of control with the highs you won’t fall so far when you hit the lows – also if you don’t get so low with the lows you don’t have nearly as deep a hole to climb out of to get back to the highs. Still advice that I am learning and trying to achieve still today.
Also reminds me of what Paul shared in Philippians 4:10-13 about learning (key there not just being an innate ability but a learned process) how to be “content” in EVERY situation whether in need or having plenty. This goes a LOOOOOOOONG way to making life way more manageable.
It also then makes my mind leap over to the thoughts shared by James in James 1:2-8 He is speaking about what I like to say is “CHOOSING” to “consider it pure joy, whenever (not if, but when) you face trials” – again this is the idea of making a mental decision to not be overwhelmed by the tough times of life – and they will come, especially if you are choosing to be a follower of Christ. When you choose to consider it joy – and by using Paul’s encouragement to be content in all situations – you will be able to persevere and that is the way to become “mature and complete” – James then suggests if you are having trouble doing so to then ask God for WISDOM to see how to do this better – and God will provide that wisdom.
I truly believe that is exactly what Granny had – a true, pure, Godly wisdom that helped her have that contentment in life that Paul talked about. In ALL circumstances – whether married to the man she loved and raising her children in the Lord – or watching her husband deteriorate after a terrible stroke – while she was the main health care provider – whether taking in others or living alone by herself for “27 years” or whether living those last years in a nursing home when all she wanted was to be independant and living at her home – but you see she truly understood the ETERNAL HOME that was waiting for her and was able to keep her eyes fixed upon it.
So now I believe would finally be the time if you asked her “Granny, how ya doing?” – she would not simply say “oh about medium” – with a smile on her face and arm in arm with her Lord – she would say “I’m fantastic for I am finally in my true HOME – how long before you come visit we are getting your room ready!”