Today I'm thinking about how all the things in our lives can be seen as either good or bad depending on our perspective.
We found out today that Microbio Daughter's car engine blew a head gasket and will cost about $1500 to fix it. At first I was feeling bad because she offered to pay for the repair. As a mom, I would rather go deeper into debt than to see our kids have to go without. But she reminded me that she had the money in the bank. It was to be in case she needed a down payment for a place if she got a job away from home, but her job near us is pretty secure. She'll be able to slowly save more over time and repairing the car is a lot cheaper than having to get a new used one. She also reminded me that she is an adult and can afford to fix the car. It really was OK. You see, my perspective at first was to protect my baby from any harm. But the better perspective is that this is a chance for my daughter to take responsibility as an adult and take care of things.
I had a great walk (5 miles!) this morning with a fellow adoptive mom. Her daughters, whom she adopted from Russia, are adults and living together in an apartment now. They are going to college and have jobs, but they have struggles. I just finished a book yesterday called A Mountain of Crumbs about a girl who grew up in Russia, and am now reading a book called The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton. In the first book I got a better understanding of life under the Soviets. The second book is written by a man who adopted a girl from the Ukraine and he explains how a godless society is so bad, especially for orphans. I'm not finished with it yet, but I can already see from reading these two books that my friend did an awesome thing in rescuing her two daughters from a horrible life. Most girls who come out of orphanages in Russia become prostitutes. So in one perspective, her daughters may not be living a life to their full potential or in a way their mom would hope, but in another perspective, they have a chance here. In one perspective, my friend may wonder whether she did enough to raise the girls well enough. But in another perspective, she did an awesome job. The young women are doing so much better than what could have been, with their probable fetal alcohol exposure, neglect, abuse, and who knows what they endured in the orphanage and before.
And then this afternoon I was chatting on the computer with a friend from Rama Cay, Nicaragua. His family were about to go the hour plus boat ride to Bluefields to pick up his grandfather and take him home to Rama Cay, probably to die. My friend also asked how our family was doing. I told him that Hubby was going into the doctor tomorrow to get more tests on his kidney. This is in preparation for the surgery on the 19th. Now my Rama friend's perspective is that surgery is dangerous. He is so worried about Hubby. Our perspective is that we can't wait for the surgery! It will bring relief to the symptoms that Hubby has been living with for a long time and have been getting worse the past few weeks. We think of hospitals as places to get better. My friend thinks of hospitals as places you only go if all else fails. We know our hospitals are well stocked, our doctors and nurses excellent, and expect the care to be the best. Their hospitals are the opposite. My house is better stocked than most clinics! I found myself having a difficult time trying to show my friend that we have a completely different perspective on the surgery. Yes, we love prayers, but we aren't going in this with fear.
So when I start to get fearful, when I start to wonder whether I'm raising my kids right, when I make decisions, when I think of who to help and how, when I really do, say, or even think anything, I need to have the right perspective, really, the perspective that God has, since He sees things we can't see. One perspective leads to peace, joy, thankfulness, and love. The perspective that isn't right leads to fear, anger, envy, and selfishness. Sometimes it's hard to find the right perspective, but if I were to have a New Year's goal, I think it would be to try to discern what God's perspective is in each situation I come across in 2012.