Somehow I find myself at the end of what feels like a lengthy week. Nothing too eventful has occurred though. I haven't felt the desire to blog much lately. It means that I'm generally in better spirits. For whatever reason, I tend to write most when I'm feeling down and this has not been so much the case since the beginning of the new year.
When I look to my entries of the last few months I begin to notice the descriptions of a process... Of course, it was difficult for me to recognize at times... but through the clearer lens of hindsight, I see how different ideas and truths entered my life at specific points, be it through conversations with friends, or books read. Now, I find myself in a place where perhaps much of these lessons have begun culminating.
The fact is, I'm not the same person that I was a year ago. I've never been the person that I am today. Of course, this isn't necessarily all a positive thing... I lost bits and pieces of myself along the way... but I feel as though I've grown, really grown in some areas.
The lessons resulted from various situations, different people entering and leaving my life... from trials and failures, costly mistakes and minor successes. But here I am now, just a little wiser and a little closer to being conformed to His image...on the road to becoming the man I so long to be. (At once, also realizing that I have so very much more to learn; a tremendous journey of personal growth awaits.)
So as my first, real New years entry instead of going into a list of resolutions, I'm going to list some of the lessons I've learned this year. Some were more profound than others, most I thought I had learned in the past, but was confronted by them differently this year...and some were more painful to arrive to, but all lessons they remain and lessons I'm sure I will continue to learn and relearn in the days and years ahead. (No, I haven't nailed any of these things, daily I struggle, but I think I've made some progress.)
1) Appreciating my family and what it means to honor my parents.
2) Fearing God. How reverence is essential to worship, you cannot have one w/out the
3) Forgiveness. *Accepting it, granting it to those even when they haven't asked for it. Both are liberating.
4) Surrender. Not only pertaining to my behaviors, but everything I hold so dear to me, even the "good." The life that I have worked so hard to arrange for myself, the future, the dreams... all of it.
5) I am a never ending well of pride. Further, this pride will rise up at every possible opportunity and so I must check my tongue and my motives at every turn.
6) I am severely insecure.
7) A cup of warm coffee each morning promotes Regularity.
8) Guarding my heart. (boundaries).
9) When you're overwhelmed, exhausted, feel like you've got nothing left, serve others. "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." (Proverbs 11:25)
10) The imperative to do relationships God's way. Rules are placed to protect us.
11) Keeping my eye on the prize. (kingdom living). The life of a Christian is the pursuit of the eternal, not the attempt at building heaven here on earth.
12) My value does not depend on a what others think of me. Life is not a political campaign, I don't need to impress anybody and I don't have to be loved by everyone.
13) My choices can have enormous consequences.
14) There is nothing like that sweet hour of prayer.
15) Sometimes, you only get one chance...
16) Life is freakin' hard.