Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lessons Learned

I wanted this piece to come before the new year, but alas, life happens and things don't always get done when you want them to, but they do get done when they need to (one of the things I have learned this year). It has been a while since I've written anything because life has been busy, especially with the holidays. But this past year I learned a lot- a lot more than I thought I would at the beginning of 2016. I wanted to share some of the things I learned because I thought that they were good lessons. So keep reading, or stop here. I don't really mind which. My brain has just been a little too cluttered lately so I need to pour some of it out.

In 2016, I learned about life.That God puts people in your life that will help guide you, and some people simply to come and to go, only to leave a lesson or two behind. We should not feel stupid for having let them in, nor should we feel hatred toward them. God put them into our lives for a reason, and we should try to find the good in that instead of dwelling on the bad situation.

I learned about death. That sometimes, it comes way too early, but even though we may not have been ready, God was ready to bring them home.
"The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness." Isaiah 57:1-2

I learned that weddings bring out the worst in some people, and you really have to focus on the good, not dwell on the bad.

I learned that time outs are for children, not grown adults. That you do not get to put a friend in a time out until you think they have learned their lesson. Chances are that by the time you get back to let them out, they will be long gone, moving on to bigger and better things.

I learned that you can hurt people with your words, and just as easily, you yourself can be hurt by other people's words and actions. Trying not to take things so personally or seriously can help ease the burn but still, the pain sticks around for a little bit. So watch your words, and guard your heart.
"Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge." James 4:11

I learned that everyone has a story and we should really get our faces out of our phones and start making an effort to get to know each other face to face. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

I learned that stubbornness can be one of the most annoying traits in someone. So I should really watch myself to make sure I am not acting that way. It can hurt others. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and admit that you did something wrong.
"But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24

I learned that you should not let your pride get in the way of a relationship you have with someone, especially someone close.
"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

I learned that doing what is best for you may not be selfish, but it may come with a cost. You have to decide if you are willing to pay it. You may think it is what is best for you, but where are you putting God in all of this? He knows what's best for you. So pray about your decision before really solidifying one.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

I learned that sometimes you have to forgive, even if there has never been and probably will never be an apology. Forgiveness will free your mind and heart from the bitterness and hatred toward the other person. We are called by God to forgive immediately. But that does not mean that you forget right away. You are not expected to allow them to continue hurting you. Taking the time to heal from the wounds is just as important as forgiving them immediately.
"And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25

So here is to a new year. To more forgiveness. To more life. To hopefully less death. To whatever God puts in our path-- because He will bring us through it.
2017, we are ready to find the joy in you. 

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