dumpster diving

This blog post started out as a list of things I wanted to do and accomplish in the near future but turned into something a tad different. I think God took my wanting, dreaming heart and shook it up and out popped these thoughts and thankfulness.

So.

skipping rope by lester talkington
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Lately I’ve been loving life.
I mean I’ve been absolutely eating it up, gulping it down, whatever metaphor you prefer. I’ve been happy and exhausted like a golden retriever puppy at the end of the day, and have been making a long list of things I want to do next like get scuba certified and backpack through the wilderness and go camping. I really enjoy times like these, but then there’s the opposite side of the spectrum to consider as well, isn’t there.

I have a few friends who have been going through some things. They have not been able to stop smell the sweet flowers and, in fact, have been feeling like maybe they have been tossed in a deep, dark dumpster maze with no neon Exit sign pointing the way out. My words, not theirs.

you make me brave
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All my friends really want at this time is peace and comfort and to get out of the muck and all I want is more more more. More goodness, more fun, more happy for me. Isn’t it strange how when we’ve got it good sometimes we forget to be grateful and stay still but when we are wiggling around in the mud we are forced to stay still and therefore want the simple things like just feeling ok for a whole day?

I’ve been there in that muck. I understand the feeling of wishing someone would pull me out of the water so I could at least get one good breath before sinking back into it. It’s not fun, but it is a precious valuable time. Here I was today thinking about me me me when really, if I push away my selfishness for a hot minute…

I’m angry that my friends have to go through things like this. And I’m angry that I can’t fix it for them.
I guess that’s a little how God feels sometimes when we get ourselves into messes. Like we are the kid who wants the Halloween candy and climbs up on top of the refrigerator and eats the whole bowl (even though our parents promised to dole out a few pieces later) to find that it makes us severely sick. God would probably like to pick us up by the scruff of our necks to stop us from eating the entire bowl but he loves us too much to not let us make the decision ourselves. I am angry that we have to touch the hot oven or get our heads stuck between the stair railing to learn those lessons, but I guess I wouldn’t trade my lessons learned because I’ve grown so much from learning them. And then there’s the stuff in life that just happens to us. The guck gets poured on our heads and we don’t know why but there is it. Who coined that phrase “no pain, no gain?” It’s annoying how true it is.

you can do it
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As I watch my people go through the yuck, I know they are gaining wisdom. I’m reading through Proverbs right now which was written by King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live. According to Solomon, wisdom is the crème de la crème of life. He pairs wisdom with words like “righteous,” “understanding,” “humility,” “reward,” and “more precious than rubies.” There’s a lot in there about wisdom vs. folly and fearing the Lord and controlling your tongue and giving your firstfruits to God too. Proverbs is one of those books you could read 100 times but still scratch your head and say, “huh, I never understood that until today” when you read it again.

Reading God’s message through Solomon’s words has reminded me of the importance of being grateful for happy seasons and even more grateful for past and future wisdom gained. Heck, if Solomon hadn’t have learned some hard lessons, we might not have been given the book of Ecclesiastes, where we learn that everything without God is meaningless.
Getting scuba certified is good; enjoying God’s creation is good, but forgetting that it is all His is foolish. Seasons of happiness are good but so are seasons where we are being taught hard lessons and being challenged and stretched past what we thought we could handle, or wanted to.

calms the storms
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Now could someone please remind me that I wrote this blog post when things start turning wonky in my life?

and so it goes,
katie

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