Friday, May 20, 2016

52 Things God Has Taught Me In 52 Years

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.
~ Psalm 90:12, TLB ~

My child, you must follow
and treasure
    my teachings
    and my instructions.
Keep in tune with wisdom
    and think what it means
    to have common sense.
Beg as loud as you can
    for good common sense.
Search for wisdom
    as you would search for silver
    or hidden treasure.
Then you will understand
what it means to respect
    and to know the Lord God.
All wisdom comes from the Lord,
    and so do common sense
    and understanding.
God gives helpful advice[a]
    to everyone who obeys him
    and protects all of those
    who live as they should.
God sees that justice is done,
    and he watches over everyone
    who is faithful to him.
With wisdom you will learn
    what is right
    and honest and fair.
Wisdom will control your mind,
    and you will be pleased
    with knowledge.
Sound judgment and good sense
    will watch over you.
Wisdom will protect you
    from evil schemes
and from those liars
    who turned from doing good
    to live in the darkness.
Most of all they enjoy
    being mean and deceitful.
They are dishonest themselves,
    and all they do is crooked.

Follow the example
of good people
    and live an honest life.
If you are honest and innocent,
    you will keep your land;
if you do wrong
and can never be trusted,
    you will be rooted out.

Footnotes:
2.7 helpful advice: Or “wisdom.”
~ Proverbs 2:1-15, 20-22, CEV ~

Tomorrow is my fifty-second birthday.  Like anyone else, my hope is that my life has purpose.  In the spirit of jovial celebration, I thought I would share 52 ways that God has imparted wisdom to me over these past 5+ decades of life.  Some of them are profound, and some are just plain silly.  Either way, I pray they bring your soul refreshment for the weekend:
  1. The red hair you thought was so ugly growing up is highly valued in adults.
  2. You can travel nearly anywhere through the pages of a good book.
  3. Most arrogant people have no clue how foolish they look.
  4. I need a ton of grace in my life, so I had best be offering the same to others.
  5. A root canal, while definitely unpleasant, is not as horrible as people make it sound.
  6. There really is something called Osgood-Schlatter disease.
  7. Life is way too short to hold a grudge.
  8. The Maker of the entire universe knows me better than I know myself.
  9. Freckles are really not rust spots on your skin.
  10. Politicians are really no big deal.  They are human beings just like you.
  11. I would need about 5 lifetimes to do everything I would like to do on this earth.
  12. Even in persistent darkness, God is at work, executing His perfect plan, and is worthy of my undying praise.
  13. Despite my husband’s mocking, Jon Bon Jovi’s music equals classic fun.
  14. There is a huge difference between crisis and inconvenience.  Most of the things I get upset about are merely an inconvenience and not worthy of my adrenaline.
  15. A college degree really does open certain doors for you that can’t be opened without one.
  16. Laughter shrinks the power a problem has over you.
  17. There really is water that looks as clear and blue as the magazine pictures in the Caribbean.
  18. Shooting guns is big fun and a great stress reliever.  You have to concentrate so hard on hitting your target, that there’s no room in your brain to think about your troubles.
  19. The irrefutably BEST way to make bratwurst is to soak them in beer overnight so the beverage permeates the casing, then brown them on the grill.  Mmmmm!
  20. You cannot make enough laws in this world to protect idiots from themselves.
  21. The best way to flip easy-over eggs is to slide them onto a pan lid, cover the lid with the fry pan, then quickly turn the covered pan right-side up.
  22. Riding on the back of a motorcycle is positively exhilarating.
  23. A coqui is about the size of your thumb nail but can make a noise of up to 90 decibels, the volume of a running lawnmower.
  24. Almost every family on the planet is dysfunctional in some way.
  25. Be careful when you pray or sing, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours,” because God is sure to answer that prayer affirmatively.
  26. Few things look as breathtakingly miraculous as a clear sunny day after a fresh, heavy snowfall.
  27. The clotting cascade consists of over 20 chemical reactions that must happen in correct sequence for you to form a stable blood clot.
  28. Divorce, even if it’s civil and no-fault, is emotionally traumatizing.
  29. Carp are disgusting, ugly fish, who will come to the surface to steal bread crumbs from the ducks.
  30. The uglier I am willing to admit I am, the more beautiful Jesus looks to me.
  31. Women will pay insane amounts of money to get their hair colored the same red as yours.
  32. Nobody will beat the original cast of Saturday Night Live.
  33. Jesus really is THE way, THE truth, and THE life.
  34. My children have been God’s classroom for my soul.
  35. Frozen red grapes make a delicious, refreshing summer treat and a fancy garnish when floating in a beverage.
  36. Every “normal” human being is just one emergency room visit away from having a special needs family.
  37. Making certain your embroidery looks as neat and flat on the back as it is on the front makes is much easier to frame.
  38. No matter how much you try to do the right thing in life, you WILL end up offending someone.
  39. Having a knee replacement makes natural childbirth seem like the pain of a hangnail.
  40. American Kennel Club training for a dog gives them the best start ever as a family pet.
  41. There is no such thing as karma.  Jesus took the penalty and punishment we deserve.
  42. Frozen custard beats ice cream ALL.DAY.LONG.
  43. Having extra needs is NOT the same as being overly needy.
  44. Life is a series of lessons in getting over yourself.
  45. Essential oils are awesome, even if only for the smell.
  46. If you cannot laugh at your own mistakes, you are missing out on a lot of good material.
  47. God sends no trial that coffee and chocolate cannot handle.
  48. I really can put an IV into a child’s arm despite my shaky hands.
  49. A cup of vinegar in a load of dark laundry is phenomenal at getting the smell out.
  50. I am extremely flawed, but even more loved as evidenced by God’s infinite grace.
  51. My unshakable worth lays in the One who ascribes value to me.
  52. Anywhere we find ourselves looking for happiness apart from our Maker will only lead us to disappointment.  Our TRUE JOY is not found in marriage, parenthood, the beautiful house, the new car, the successful career, or the best vacations.  None of those things will pass the test of eternity of give you HOPE when all hope is gone.
What would YOU add to the list of things God has taught you over the years?

PRAY:  Magnificent Maker, thank YOU for the gift of life!  Teach us to view our lives with the proper perspective.  Remind us that we only gain wisdom by staying plugged in to You.

~ Barb Dittrich

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