Still catching up- this is this past weeks post!

The summer is a natural time to reflect, and this month (August) has caused me to think and be challenged.  From watching the Bachelorette, to seeing love in action and a love so pure at two different weddings, to kayaking on the lake & sitting on the dock, to amazing just-because gifts, to new adventures, miscommunications with friends, acting silly (in both the fun and where- is –my- brain sense), and studying God’s word- I’ve learned a lot and been challenged by a lot.

I’m usually pretty candid in my posts, but I’m not overly personal with my experiences.  So this one is a little more honest, but I’m not going to go into too many details.  I’m sharing to hopefully challenge you as well, and a girls gotta keep some secrets!  😉

So, Seven Things I’ve Realized this August (LOL Life Lessons with Ms. B if you will)

One of the many people I'm blessed to have in my life

One of the many people I’m blessed to have in my life

1. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and family.  I look at the key people in my life and I’m amazed at genuine, kind, caring, and honest people in my life.  These people I love immensely, and astonishing enough, they love me just as dearly.  Which amazes me, because I can be a handful.  There are too many people to name, and although I’ve spent time with a lot of them over the past few weeks, there are many more.  Thanks for putting up with me and making me feel loved.  I was also blessed to receive the kindest, most thoughtful and generous gift from a very special person.  It wasn’t just the gift (which is awesome by the way), but the symbolism behind it.  It’s hard living on your own sometimes, especially when you see all your friends getting married, and this person just got that.  Thank you.

Taking out the Trash freedigitalphotos.net

Taking out the Trash freedigitalphotos.net

2. Don’t Rationalize the Garbage in your Life- Get Rid of it!  Whether it’s a behaviour you have, how you interact/converse with someone, how you spend your time, your language, your attitude, whatever- don’t make excuses for it- just cleanse it from your life.  How often do we “explain” our behaviours and justify why we are doing something.  It’s crap.  Literally.  It doesn’t matter why you are doing it, or why your attitude is so trash.  It stinks and it needs to be kicked to the curb.  And, while you’re at it, delete a few facebook friends that suck, or cause you to suck as a person.  You’ll be amazed at how “sweet” your life is after.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is novle, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things 

Just call them up!  freedigitalphotos.com

Just call them up! freedigitalphotos.com

3. Communication is Key- How many times do I need to learn this lesson?  In all that you do, in all your interactions with people, it’s better just to communicate with them.  Otherwise, things just become a bigger issue than they need to be.  Honesty is always good, especially when things are hard and awkward.  I had a situation with a friend that I avoided for a while, and it was hilarious when we finally talked- all I could think about was, “why didn’t I do that from the beginning?”  It’s better for a moment or two of weirdness than a few weeks of awkward misreadings and misinterpretations.  I know, a lesson I should have learned in grade school- I’m still learning!

 

 

4. You’re not Awesome… yet!  I’ve been reading a book of Proverbs a day; it seemed like a good, practical book to talk some sense into me, and the last few days the idea of correction or discipline has come up.  This is a topic people don’t like, because we don’t like to change.  We have this, “love me as I am” or “I’m awesome” attitude which is bologna.  As humans, we aren’t awesome, we don’t have it all figured out.  There is always something we can learn, something we can change in our life to make us a better person.  We never achieve perfection: we can only strive for excellence.  For me, that excellence is found in Christ and his example, and I am far from perfection.  I like that I have friends who are honest with me and are willing to say, “I don’t like that answer,” or “you are being really dumb right now,” because that’s what friends do.  They challenge you to be the best you can be, and encourage you to grow in your relationship with Christ/your life.  When I looked up the words “discipline” and “correction” in the thesaurus the words, “education, development and improvement” all came up. I believe that in life we need to be educated, developed and improved through our relationships, our God, our life experiences and that’s a learning that is life long.  “If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”  Proverbs 15:32 (NLT)

5. Love is More Than a Feeling- I’m reminded of that old DC Talk song “Luv is a Verb.”  Love is something you do, and not something you feel and I think society has confused this severely.  We think that if we feel love toward a person then we show love to them, and if our feelings change, then our actions are justified in changing as well.  People that is called ‘conditional love,’ meaning that you will love someone under the condition that you “feel like you love them.”  That’s crap- who wants that?  I have yet to hear someone say, “I can’t wait to find a partner who loves me conditionally…”  Love is a CHOICE. It’s something you choose to do, something you make a conscious effort to do.  Your feelings will change, because we are humans- and if you are like me, pathetically fickle! Make fun of my Bachelorette watching all you want, but I was impressed with Des’ choice.  Long story short, she had this mad “love feelings” for Brooks, but Chris was solid and true through the whole process.  A lot of people said she “settled” for him, but I think she made the right choice.  She looked at him and saw all the amazing qualities he had and, yes their love wasn’t this passionate, burning flame from the beginning, it was a slow and steady build and she CHOSE him.  And for that, I think they might have a chance.  Not to go on too much of a tangent, but what I would have picked in a partner when I was 20, is completely different from what I would pick now.  When I was 20, I was wrapped up in the emotions, in the twinkle dust if you will, where as now I know what I need in a partner and what God wants for me. Although I do think you need to feel a spark, I think love that lasts is love that is a daily choice and decision.  That’s commitment people.

Love is Patient

Love is Patient

6. Love is best when it’s pure and patient and led by God.  A couple of things reminded me of this.  My “big little sister” (she’s a girl who I used to babysit who is now way wiser than I!) got married and I am so happy for this union.  Here’s a couple who first of all loves God, and who have earnestly sought him out in their relationship.  The world would look at their relationship as weird; the physical aspect of their relationship didn’t develop pretty much at all until they were engaged, like not even kissing.  But, in talking with her about their relationship when it was developing, the peace she had about this budding romance was amazing.  The time they could have spent making out, they spent truly getting to know each other.  Dating for them was relaxed and natural- not stressful at all.  They were both waiting on God to see where He was leading them and I think that’s how it should be. Things may have moved slower than what society deemed as normal, but it was so clear on their wedding day that this is a special marriage that is true and pure.  It was one of those days that made my heart happy and hopeful.  A few days earlier, I was reminded of the verse in Song of Songs 2:7, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  I’m bad at that; being patient is hard.  But I truly believe that when love is pure and led by God, love awakens at just the right time.

Peacefully Paddling

Peacefully Paddling

7. I’m in a Kayak- I’m at a place in my life where I really don’t know what ahead.  I’m in for an exciting new adventure with a new job, and a new city, but there are so many things in my life that are unknown.  But, I cannot tell you the peace that I have felt, even in these last few weeks about that.  I may not know my future, but I know who holds my future and that’s very comforting.  My life, especially lately has been a struggle with God for the driver’s seat.  I like to know what’s going to happen, where we are going. A friend told me this analogy when it comes to the dynamic between you and God and control of your life.  He probably articulated it way better, but there are three vessels you can be in when it comes to your relationship with God. First, a motorboat- fast, and you do all the driving, you know where you’re going and you stop at nothing to get there.  It’s all about you and the work you are doing and God’s not in it.  Second, you can be in a raft, where you lay there and “see where the wind takes you.”  You let God do all the leading and all the work.  This is a weinery approach to life and contrary to everything God would want (the amount of times I’ve seen ‘hard work’ in Proverbs these last few days…).  It’s lazy and no way to live.  Finally, you can be in a sailboat, or for my analogy a kayak.  You are working hard, (do I seriously have muscles there?), and there are times where the end seems so far, times when you don’t think you’re little arms will get you there, but you are working at moving that boat.  You can see in the distance the general area you are going to, but God won’t reveal the exact location or even more directions for the journey until you are a lot closer.  All you need to know is, head toward that bay over there. Things get clearer the closer you get.  You just have to trust and keep paddling.  Normally that would be scary, but for some reason I’m happy paddling and something about being on the water brings me peace.

So there you go- what I’ve learned this August.  I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more- there are still weeks ahead!  It’s long, but it’s been a challenging (but good!) month, and I wanted to share.

CLICK on the SPEECH BUBBLE at the top of this post and share some life lessons you’ve been learning!

Love Em

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Comments
  1. Curtis says:

    wise words

  2. I pray for a thousand fold blessing as you walk in faith (or kayak in faith). The lord, our god rewards those who are patient, and listening to his direction. May you be filled with joy as I prophecy that God has such great reward coming to you! Amen!

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