Welcome to the fourteenth installment of my blog hop/writing exercise called Time Warp Tuesday here on Four of a Kind!
For those not familiar with Time Warp Tuesdays, which I host on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month, here is the background of how and why I came up with the idea. If you are here to participate and link up your post, you can do so with the Linky Tools at the end of this post (or if you have any difficulty using it, you can share the link to your post in the comment section here).
The gist of Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives and reflect on our journeys since we wrote them.
The theme for this week’s Time Warp Tuesday is: Turnaround
Note: Special thanks to Lori from Write Mind Open Heart who suggested this topic! Lori told me that the idea came to her during a yoga class, which seems appropriate coming from a mindful living guru in our ALI Community. If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.
A new year is an opportunity for new beginnings and the chance to try to see events, experiences and people in your life in a new light and possibly from a different perspective. Choose a post from your archives, as Lori suggested, related to a “turnaround” in your life, “where something that you once saw as a curse has since become viewed as a blessing. Or something turned out not to be what you originally thought it was.” It may be that you wrote about this “turnaround” in your life in your old blog entry or the “turnaround” has happened since the time your wrote the post you chose to reflect on. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.
Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might have needed some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:
Why did you pick this post? What kind of response did you get from readers in regards to your post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
Time Warp Tuesday: Turnaround
This topic was a bit of a challenge for me. There have certainly been times in my life when I have experienced “turnarounds” in my way of thinking, as Lori described and suggested. However I didn’t recall a specific blog post where I wrote about that. I decided to do a search for the word “perspective” on my blog, to see if there were instances where I wrote about experiencing a change in my perspective about something. I found three blog entries that seemed to fit. In the end I chose this one, which I posted in June 2009. It was the second of two posts that I wrote describing my experience celebrating the first anniversary of Molly’s birth and death in April of that year.
Here is a link to my post:
Please go and read the post that I am reflecting on today (and comment if you choose), if you haven’t already, and then come back here to see what I have to say about my journey since I wrote it.
***Here is where you left off before you stopped to read my old post.***
As I often find to be the case when revisiting old blog entries for Time Warp Tuesdays, I appreciate the opportunity to re-read and reflect on what I wrote a few years ago. The part of my old post which I am focusing on this week, related to a “turnaround” in my way of thinking, talks about a homily one of the priests at our church gave during the mass that was said in Molly’s honor and memory. The priest’s words that day helped me to make peace with those in our life who did not support us in some of the ways that I wished they had during our pregnancy with Molly and after she was born and died.
We didn’t expect the priest to make his homily that day literally about Molly, however we were blown away by how he seemed to speak indirectly to our family, and all those whose lives were touched by our baby girl that were with us. His sermon focused on what Jesus said to his disciples when he returned to visit them, after rising from the dead. He talked about how after everything Jesus had been through with the disciples (both positive and negative) leading up to and through his crucifixion, that there were so many things he might have chosen to say to them. However, Jesus simply and thoughtfully said “peace be with you.” The priest suggested that Jesus could have said things like “where were you?” “what were you thinking?” or “I told you so.” But instead he showed great mercy and his awesome ability to forgive when he said “peace be with you.” The priest went on to relate this story to getting through difficult times in our lives with our faith in God.
I imagine I wasn’t alone that day in feeling like the priest was speaking right to me. I was really touched by the points he made about looking back on hard times in our life and finding ways to forgive those who did or said things that were hurtful. Reflecting specifically on our journey with Molly, there were times when my feelings were especially hurt by the things that family and friends chose not to do or say, including those in our life who, for various reasons, were not with us to celebrate Molly’s life and birthday that very day. I found that hearing the priest say “peace be with you” over and over again throughout his homily that morning to be incredibly healing and inspiring for me. It helped me to take a step back and look at my life and our situation from a different perspective. I felt encouraged to try to forgive those who may not have been here for us in ways that I wish they had throughout our journey with Molly, however in most cases likely had good intentions and do in their hearts love and care about Bob, Sean, me and our daughter/baby sister in Heaven.
During the Prayers of the Faithful, as I had experienced two days earlier on Friday during the daily mass we attended for Molly, I was very moved by the moment with the reader shared whom the mass was being offered for, “Molly Marie Benson,” and we all said together “Lord, hear our prayer.” I was also touched when we all held hands and said the “Our Father” together, a prayer that was very special and helpful to me throughout our pregnancy with our baby girl and especially the day she was born and died. Directly following the “Our Father” was the point in the mass when the priest invites our congregation to “look not upon our sins, but on the faith of our church” and to share “peace” with those around us. Giving hugs, kisses and handshakes while saying “peace be with you” to our family and friends surrounding us in the pews that day took on a whole knew meaning and significance as I recalled the priest’s homily earlier in the mass.
This way of thinking, or change in perspective, was definitely a “turnaround” experience for me. At times I still struggle to understand and accept why some of our loved ones have chosen to say or not say certain things over the years and to do or not do various things since Molly’s birth and death. However, revisiting this post was a helpful reminder to me of how healing and inspiring following Jesus’s example of showing mercy and practicing forgiveness can be.
Ironically I recently had an interesting experience related to showing forgiveness with our 8 year old son Sean, who was 4 1/2 at the time of his baby sister Molly’s birth and death. Last week our 2 year old daughter Abby and her big brother Sean were playing together. They like to goof around a lot and at some point as they played Abby started hitting Sean. Though we don’t think she was really trying to hurt him, Sean didn’t like it and understandably asked her to stop. Abby continued and I decided to step in and give her a “time out.” This was actually the first time I have tried doing this with her and started off by explaining what a time out was and why she was having one.
After Abby’s time out was over, we discussed what had happened, why she had the time out and why it wasn’t okay for her to hit Sean. Then I asked her to say she was “sorry” to her brother for hitting him. This is where things got especially interesting or frustrating, depending on how you look at it. Abby refused to apologize to her brother. Our daughter speaks and comprehends language very well for her age and thus I wasn’t concerned that she didn’t understand what I was asking of her. She was clearly just being stubborn.
I saw this as an opportunity to hold my ground and teach her that it was important to say your sorry when you hurt someone and did my best to explain why. As more time passed and she still would not say “sorry” to Sean I got more frustrated and told her that she would not get to watch any of her favorite TV shows until she apologized to her brother for hitting him. This battle of wills lasted for 24 hours!
Sean and I tried to be patient and reason with her. Many times I considered giving in, because she is *only* two years old. But again, I really believed that she knew exactly what was going on and was just testing limits. Sean or I would say to her, “are you ready to say `sorry’ yet?” Abby would reply, “no, I am doing something else.” After I took away her “TV privileges” she made it clear that she understood what was happening many times when she said things such as, “After I say sorry to Sean, I get to watch Yo Gabba, Gabba.”
On day two Abby and I walked to the bus stop to meet Sean after school. On our way home the subject of whether or not Abby was ready to say “sorry” to her brother came up again. Sean told me that he had been thinking about what happened with his sister. He shared that he knew sometimes people who hurt us don’t tell us they are sorry and that we can still forgive them anyway. Sean went on to say that even if Abby never apologized to him, that he still forgives her for hitting him.
I was so proud of and impressed with the grace and wisdom of our 8 year old son. I told Sean this and let him know how much I appreciated his perspective on the situation. I also said that I still believed that Abby would come around and say she was sorry eventually, but that time would tell. Later that afternoon, as the three of us were sitting together on the couch in our basement, Abby turned to Sean and said, “sorry!”
Reflecting on the priest’s homily in my old post and my recent experience with our son Sean both help me to remember the importance of being able to forgive those who hurt us, even especially when they do not chose to make amends for their words or actions. I saw a powerful quote on Twitter about a year ago, which really moved me, related to forgiveness. I will leave you with that:
Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself. ~ Harriet Nelson
Thank you for reading and for doing the Time Warp with me. I look forward to your feedback about this post, as well as reading and commenting on all of yours.
Please feel free to comment even if you didn’t write your own Time Warp Tuesday post. It is not too late to participate if you are interested, click here for the details.
The topic for the next Time Warp Tuesday is: Comments Please
Note: Special thanks to Deborah from Unglamorous who suggested this topic! If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.
Sometimes we feel really good about a post after we write and share it on our blogs. However, we don’t always get the feedback and validation we crave from our readers. This is your chance to revisit a an old blog entry that you are proud of and invite others doing the Time Warp to read and give it the attention it deserves. Choose one of your favorite posts from your archives, that as Deborah suggested, got little to no comments. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since. Hopefully through Time Warp this week you will receive the comments and validation that you missed out on the first time around.
Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might need some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:
Why did you pick this post? What do you think you didn’t get more responses from your readers to your post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?
For those new to Time Warp Tuesday, here is a quick recap of how it works:
1) Browse through your old blog entries to find one that fits the topic for the given week. The topic is shared at the end of the previous week’s “Time Warp Tuesday” post here on my blog (see above for next week’s topic).
2) Write a new blog post in which you introduce, link to and then reflect on your journey since you wrote the older blog post and put it up on your blog on Tuesday. Please include this link http://bereavedandblessed.com/category/time-warp-tuesdays/ in your blog entry, so your readers can find their way to my post with the list of other participants, in case they would like to read more or participate themselves.
3) Share the link to your new post here on Tuesday and then visit, read and comment on the other blogs.
4) After you have done all of these things, you are welcome to grab the code for the the Time Warp Tuesday button by clicking here and put it on your blog. The link will take you to a Google Doc where you can copy the code. If your browser does not allow access to your computer’s clipboard, you can use Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste, or use your browser’s Edit menu.
5) Check back here on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month to find out the new topic, theme or question for the next Time Warp Tuesday (I welcome your ideas and suggestions) and then return to Step 1 of this recap to participate.
Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you back here in three weeks, on Tuesday, February 7th (the 1st Tuesday of next month), when we’ll “do the time warp again!”
Thank you again for reading, commenting and participating in my Time Warp Tuesday blog hop. Link up below and click through to visit others who are doing the Time Warp! (If you have any trouble with Linky Tools, please share the link to your blog entry in the comment section.). Also, please don’t forget to comment on my post here, as I do not have a link to this (my own) post below, but I would still really appreciate your feedback. xoxo