“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

How to decide what to do?

So many things are out of our control, especially in these days of coronavirus challenges and economic travail. But before lockdowns and quarantines circumstances out of our control may also have wrecked havoc with our lives.

People may have done things of the not nice variety that were out of our control.

At times health challenges may have spiraled out of our control.

Stormy weather (Newfoundland, Canada)

It’s tough navigating the out of control things in our lives when unpredictable storms knock us about. It’s hard to know what to do.

We can’t change what can’t be changed – what’s out of our control. But, we can change our responses, attitudes and actions – what’s in our control.

Therein lies the rub.

Years ago this vivacious redhead always liked to be liked. (Most people do!) When I encountered persnickety colleagues in my first job, my wise Papa shared this advice: “You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control your response to them.”

Choosing words with care & compassion…

We can choose not to stoop to levels of unkindness when nasty rhetoric is flying about. Instead we can try to engage others constructively, and ourselves while we’re at it.

When pressure builds up in the out of control areas of our lives, we can feed our internal pressure cookers with worry and anxiety until eventually – poof! – we explode.

Or, like my beloved boss Bill told me many times in the heat of a Middle Eastern conflict zone: “Virginia, go stand in front of the fan!” We can go stand in front of the fan and cool down.

Standing in front of the fan of God’s love, we can let go and let God have a go at taking our worries, hurts, and disappointments. The anxiety that is keeping us up at night.

It doesn’t mean our out-of-control problems will disappear, but (if we ask) God’s love and peace will permeate the pressure cookers of our lives with infinite grace to deal with them – one day at a time.

“Overcome the finite with the Infinite.”  Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

(Photo Credit: NASA’s Hubble, 17 December 2010)

grace, peace & Infinite Grace

Virginia : )

“We have all received from His fullness grace upon grace.” John 1:16

p.s. Virginia has been off the blogosphere since an out-of-control case of strep throat erupted last week. A few symptoms tracked with COVID-19 (a bit worrisome) but thankfully once antibiotics kicked in (and popsicle therapy was fully engaged) I am feeling much better. Still recovering but thanking God it’s not the coronavirus!

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18 Responses to OUT OF CONTROL!

  1. gmccjosinski says:

    Great blog. So helpful to me.

  2. Dewin Nefol says:

    Thinking of you Virginia. Get well soon! 😀

    Take care, stay safe.



    P.S: Loved the Tolkien quote! We all need a wizard in times of doubt and uncertainty. Who better than Gandalf to accompany us on our journey through life.

    • Virginia says:

      Oh Dewin, Gandalf is one of my heroes. (I’ve read The Hobbit & LOTR once a year every year since 8th grade – to say it’s a favorite is a bit of an understatement.) Gandalf’s wizardy could surely be put to good use in these uncertain times, plus his wisdom, too!

      Hope you are staying well. I’m finally better (!!) thanks be to God (& a full course of antibiotics!)

      grace, peace & WIZARDS – VA : )

      • Dewin Nefol says:

        That’s wonderful Virginia! Then Gandalf has been a constant companion and an honorable friend (albeit a literary one) for quite some time. Who could want for more 😀

        Great to hear you are better and I hope flourishing again. All’s well here thanks Virginia, the days roll by, and roll together, but we roll on regardless. Unprecedented times.

        Thrills, spills, and wizard spells 🙏


      • Virginia says:

        Thrills, spills & wizard spells back at ‘cha, Dewin! Glad you continue to roll on (without too many mishaps.) Yes, LOTR characters are friends after so many visits to Middle Earth. Must confess to being a huge Bilbo groupie (he bungled things @ times but kept on going against gigantic odds of spidery & other daunting varieties.) Gandalf has a place of eminence up there with Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Eowyn, Arwen, Galadriel, Legolas, Gimli & the whole gang… 🎊🌟📚🌟🎊

  3. janesig says:

    Antibiotics are wonderful things. Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery. Keep safe!

  4. loisastwood says:

    enjoyed your post thank you and so glad you are doing well now – blessings Lois

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Lois. I am grateful to feel better (thanks be to God and a full course of antibiotics.) Blessings to you and yours~! VA 🙂

  5. Debbie says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re on the path of mending, Virginia. I missed seeing you here, but I assumed (wrongly, I now know) that you were taking a break after posting every day during Lent. Gee, I’m happy for you that it wasn’t the coronavirus — that would have been scary, indeed. Take care, my friend! {{{ HUGS!! }}}

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Debbie. I’m so glad it wasn’t the coronavirus – and that the antibiotics knocked the strep out! God is good. Hope that you will take care as well. HUGS back at ‘cha (germ free internet ones!) 🙂

  6. Scarlett79 says:

    Hi Mz. Virginia. I can’t tell you the number of times that I was so not in control. Too many to mention in this space but the one that will stay with me forever was when we lost our sweet, sweet baby Sean Patrick ❤ I was 23 years old, happily married SAHM with our first baby who was 9 months at the time. Well I got pg again and was not happy about it b/c I had a baby already and I was just not ready for another one. God's plan was different and so another baby was sent to me. Long story short, I went into pre-term labor and he only lived for a couple of hours. Long enough to get baptized and go to heaven. His road was short, but I learned a valuable lesson that day. God's in control ❤ It's His plan ❤ Blessings and again his short life has touched another one ❤

    • Virginia says:

      Oh Scarlett, so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby Sean Patrick. It sounds like he left a legacy of God’s love in your heart that will never be forgotten – that continues to touch lives, like mine, reading of his short presence in this world. How grand it is, that he’s with Jesus – always and forever. Hugs and much love to you this day… VA

      • Scarlett79 says:

        I’m so happy that now my sweet, sweet baby Sean has touched another life. Thank you so much for mentioning him. He’s with me a lot these days… Blessings Mz. VA 🙏🏻🙏🏻

      • Virginia says:

        Amen, Scarlett – Blessings of love & hugs to you today! 💕🤗💕😇💕🙏

  7. Cindy Kranich says:

    Good words, Ginny❣️

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Cin — and for all your help being God’s love in the past when things (like the RPN’s neck) spiraled out of control. 🙂

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