Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thankless Receiving.

As I enter into this Thanksgiving week, several ideas and thoughts are running through my mind and heart. I'm struck by the fact that, for some reason, I think that being content is something that doesn't take conscious effort. I just want contentment to fall upon me like a summer rain. Slowly realizing that is not going to happen. It takes work. A retraining of the mind and spirit. I'm also realizing that I can't just decide "oh yeah, I'm going to be content". I need to start with small steps and start to build of life of gratitude.
I've always held several different "lists" in my head over the years. A list of rigorous qualities that my ideal husband would surely possess. A list of career goals and degrees I want to attain. A list of how I want to improve my appearance. These lists linger in my mind and inhibit contentment in my life.

As many people do, I habitually find myself comparing myself with others. One of the biggest things that seems to strike me as I do this is that ... it seems like my life really isn't going anywhere. Like I've been "stuck" for 25 years. Now, if you know me, you may very well be saying "well, that doesn't make sense - you've attained so much- college degree, job, etc". This is true. It's just so hard to keep in perspective as you compare yourself to others. People that I graduated high school with are moving around the country, getting married, starting families, buying houses. Now, in the same breathe, I must also remind myself of those that I also graduated high school with who are now divorced, 4 kids, dead-end job, no education. That may sound judgemental, perhaps it is, but I'm glad that I'm not on that path.

I'm content. Wait. I'm deciding to embrace the small steps necessary to nourture an attitude of gratitude! That sounds good. I'm on the road toward true contentment. How about that?
I'm thankful that I can sit on my bed with my laptop and write a blog in peace. Yes, it's the little things like this that I so often forget ... so many people don't have that luxury. There really is a contentment in my solitude that I know many people do not have. For that, I'm thankful. I can sit here on a chilly November night, light some candles, download some music, and write a blog. All is well with the world.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I have a pattern going here! One post per month! Pathetic. I know. It's the middle of November. Hard to believe.

I'm on this Rob Bell kick this weekend. I bought tickets to see him next weekend in Pittsburgh. He's a great speaker. I'm excited but I don't have anyone to go with yet! His NOOMA videos are really interesting. They've been out for awhile but I just came across some over the internet and then went out last night and bought 5 of the 18 that he has out. It's too bad they are only 10 minutes long. They are so deep though. I love them. Gives you so much to think about. My favorite of the 5 that I bought last night is called "Lump". It was so good - in a nutshell - you could never do anything to make Him love you less-.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away! I never really have any plans, but it's good nonetheless. Embracing an attitude of thankfulness has been a constant struggle for me. When I reflect upon my life, when I come to God in prayer, praise is all I have to offer. He's been so good to me. Even though I fail him daily, He is faithful and that fact will blow my mind forevermore. It's a lot to take in - grace, that is. Everytime I think I have it down, I realize that I don't. I'll never fully understand it and, you know what, I don't think I am supposed to understand it. I'm finally realizing that.

I continue to love the name that I picked for this blog! Lessons in becoming myself. It's so perfect(I did steal it from a guest on Oprah, though, so I can't take all the credit). Each day and season of life is a lesson as I become the "myself" God wants me to be. Each season brings experience, insight, wisdom, and discernment ... if I let God do that work. Over the last few months, honestly, my title should have been "lessons in derailing your life". I get silly ideas sometimes. Trying to fit into the "world" is a silly idea that frequently comes upon me. After a few months of "derailment", God lovingly pulls me back to Himself. I praise him for that. So, here I am.