Saturday, November 5, 2016

Is this really November?

The month tells us to expect oranges and browns and all things chilly, snugly,  and spiced. But, the air still carries this fragrant summer scent and honeysuckle blooms and roses continue to bud and my daughter's morning glory plant has never looked better. 

Sometimes growth happens when you expect decay. When circumstances demand a slowing down, a time of grief, loss, or disappointment, we just think hardship leads to the desert. Instead, the unexpected oasis unfolds before us.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
~Author Unknown

I read this poem to my class yesterday and briefly discussed how the disappointments and hardships sometimes produce the very catalyst that brings growth and new life. 

My husband often prays that we'd go through a situation well--not necessarily that the circumstance itself would change. I used to resent these prayers: No, pray for it to go away! But, as Charles Swindoll says, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."

We don't know what the next chapter will reveal, but we do know that God filters everything through His unconditional love. So, whatever situation you find yourself in, ask Him for the courage to see it rightly.

How do you want me to respond, Lord?
What do you want me to learn from all of this?
Help me to surrender to You and your perspective.

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