Rainbows and Lilies

The rainbow

Yesterday was rainy. During the afternoon, people throughout Michigan  started to share their photos of the rainbows they were seeing at Facebook. I didn’t see any rainbows until later in the afternoon. I noticed the sun lighting up the trees and I exclaimed, “Maybe there is a rainbow!” as I hurried to look out the window. Sure enough, I saw one! The rainbow was extremely vibrant–the rainbows up here in Northern Michigan are the most vibrant I have ever seen. I have trouble capturing their true vibrant colors with my camera.

I felt unmotivated this morning and really had trouble getting myself going so I sat in my chair, drank coffee, and worked some more on re-designing my blog. I keep learning new things that I can do. I set up some photo albums with a few of my favorite photos. I say “a few” because I take pictures all the time and I have hundreds–and I can’t share them all. You can check out the photos by clicking the “album” tag. I have also been setting up Amazon and other advertisements. If you shop at Amazon by clicking on the Amazon links in my site or an advertisement, I can earn a little money. I’m trying to bring in a bit of money here and there to help us with our finances.

I finally walked down to the mailbox for our mail early this afternoon. We didn’t get anything today, but with the lilies and wildflowers blooming, the walk to the mailbox is an absolute delight. More lilies are blooming every day, although the deer eat some of them. Next Spring I hope to transplant more lilies to the driveway, and since lilies tend to spread, we are hoping that eventually so many lilies will grow that the deer can’t eat enough of them to diminish their beauty.

As I walked to the mailbox, I heard our neighbors mowing their lawn. I thought that I should probably mow our lawn today too because it was a beautiful day and tomorrow there is a strong possibility that we could about an inche of rain. I really didn’t feel up to mowing, but I did it anyway. While I was mowing at the front of the house, JJ came out on our deck and pantomimed that he would take over when I was ready for a break. I finished the front lawn and then let him do the side and back. When he was finished those areas, I mowed the strip of grass behind the poultry pens and around to the clothesline.

Mowing the lawn helped me regain some energy so I kept busy with my chores for the rest of the afternoon–cleaning the house, preparing supper, taking care of the pets and poultry, and all that. I made a marinade for our steak for supper with potatoes and a salad from our garden.

Little Bear licking JJ’s head.

JJ tells me that Little Bear has a new ritual: After JJ takes a shower, Little Bear spends some time licking his head. Weird. Little Bear has a new routine with me too: For the last month or two he insists on sitting on my lap in the evenings. Not an unusual thing for a cat to do, but he always twists so he is cradled in my arms like a baby, and I can’t even describe his look of utter contentment as he closes his eyes when I stroke him. Often I crochet in the evening, but I have to put aside the crocheting to giving lovings to Little Bear. All the cats seem to have their quirky habits and routines.

I was thinking of what I had written yesterday about having to set a boundary with the FB friend. I think that it would sound silly to people who can set boundaries with ease, not giving it a second thought, but it’s extremely difficult for those of us who struggle with it–who were not allowed to develop boundaries or who had the boundaries broken down. To us, it feels mean, unloving, unforgiving to set boundaries.

A few memories surfaced. When I was a child, whenever I wanted to confront a sibling (i.e., set a boundary) about something hurtful she had done, my Mom would say “You are the strong Christian in our family. You are the Caring One. Don’t make things worse by speaking up. Don’t rock the boat. Just accept her for who she is.” This trained me to accept hurtful behavior without a word. I also remembered church leaders saying that if an opportunity for ministry presents itself and you refuse it, you are saying “No” to God. So anytime someone asked us to teach a Sunday School class or to minister in some other way, we better say “yes.” I also remember when I decided to work for my first year after high school to earn money so I could attend Bible College. When my pastor heard that I was not heading directly to Bible College, he told me a story about a young woman who was called to go to Bible College but she didn’t go so she missed out on God’s will, and the rest of her life was a total miserable mess. These messages and pressures make it very difficult to set boundaries. I consider it a tremendous victory when I see myself making progress in setting boundaries, speaking up, and not tolerating toxic behavior. I say, “Way to go, TJ!” Well, I say it as I struggle with guilt for being mean. But I’m struggling with guilt less.

By the way, I declined working with the abuse ministry who asked me to be on their team. I agonized over the decision for several weeks because I think well of the ministry and support their work, and I am passionate about helping abuse victims. However, I feel that it’s better that I continue sharing in the ways that I already do.

I’m getting there. Do you have trouble setting boundaries?

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