Thursday, September 13, 2012

Guilt Trips

I just spent about 10 days with my dad in Southern California….Carlsbad to be precise.  I had not seen him since he finished his treatment for cancer….which, by the way, he knew he had YEARS before he finally told me about it earlier this year…and I think the only reason he told me then was because I was planning to come visit him on the day he started treatment!!  Parents!  They have a tendency to do what they want to do when they want to do it and the way they want to do it!!  (Hummmm… that me too??)

My mom and dad had a morning routine for YEARS that they loved to do and whenever I would come to visit, I never loved to do it with them.  Even after mom died, dad continued the routine and I continued to not participate.  Not my thing.  A total waste of time, I thought.

After waking up early (way too early as far as I was concerned) they would make a pot of coffee, drink it slowly and read at least two morning papers.  On Thursday through Sunday there would be three morning papers and multiple cups of coffee.

Not only did I despise coffee, two papers were way too excessive and three was ridiculous!!  After all, how many times does one need to read the same news?  Two times?  Three times?  Crazy for sure!  Crazy, and as I said before, a total waste of time!!

Something changed in me this year!!  Every morning I had a cup of coffee and read not just one but two and sometimes three papers each morning with my dad!!  There was a problem though….I felt guilty about it!!  There.  I said it!  I felt guilty for drinking coffee and reading 2-3 newspapers every morning!!  I NEVER get to do that at home!!  Sit in the mornings?  Doing "nothing".  Never!  Or is it that I don’t do it at home because I feel guilty about it?

Why can’t I just sit and enjoy coffee and newspaper?  Why do I feel guilty?  Is it because I think that if I am going to sit in the morning I should be reading the Bible not the newspaper?  "Shame on you!", the little voice tells me, "You are a bad Christian!"  "You don’t love God!"  "You should be doing something “productive” not something “fun” and "worldly"!  Yikes!!  Can you believe all of that would go through my mind??!!!  Do you "hear" those voices too?

Here’s what I learned.  I KNOW it is important to spend time with my heavenly Father.  He longs for me to sit with Him and listen to Him and talk to Him.  I also know that my earthly father, who does not know my heavenly Father, loved for me to sit with him and do things he loves to do and I must learn to not feel guilty about it!!  And, it is OK to sit and drink coffee and read the paper!!  You go girl if you can do that without feeling guilty!!

One of the biggest “baggage” or burdens I carry is this issue of feeling guilty!  Sometimes people will pack my bags and send me on the guilt trip….most often I am packing my own bags and going on the guilt trip!!

Finally, after many days, I totally threw off those bags….dumped them….and totally enjoyed my morning coffee, newspaper and dad!!  How about you?  What ridiculous thing are you feeling guilty about doing??  Unpack and get off that guilt trip!!

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