Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Having It All and Letting it Go--With Thanks

This post was written by my sweet sister and mentor, Dianne. I am posting it on her birthday,
which would likely embarrass her. She is full of wisdom and a blessing. I hope you will enjoy
and be blessed by her words. It was orignially posted on a group blog in 2013 that is now
lost to the 1s and 0s and space. However, it is well worth your time to read!

I have to admit that there have been some amazing times in my life when I have had it all; or at least MOST all of it.  And it has been wonderful.  There have been times when it’s almost as if God has offered me a gift – times when He has just handed me the unexpected, like a beautifully wrapped package done up in a gold ribbon, and said, “Here. Take this if you want to, and experience the joy it will bring you.”
He gives it because he loves me and because he knows the desires of my heart, and because He delights in giving unanticipated surprises.  As with gifts, He says that I may have this to enjoy if I want to open it….or I may continue on as I am and it will be all right.  My choice.  It’s a God-gift, if I want to be a little brave and open it.  As with all gifts from God, there are amazing results that come with the opening.
One of those special gifts for me was a period of work and service in Greece.  It was glorious even though it also carried with it the obligation to work harder (both in mind and body) than I had ever worked before, to be more patient and unselfish, to be a better example and leader, and to begin to grow into being a mentor and “older woman.”  But, oh my, it was a wonderful time and it truly satisfied the desires of my heart.  When you experience that….that having it all…..how do you give it up?
The thing that I have had to learn about those rare, gifted times in my life is that they do not last forever.  God can give us the gift….a season in our lives…but it doesn’t mean.that gift will last indefinitely.  That’s when you have to learn, or relearn, that sometimes we receive, we experience, and then we must move on to another time when we can only look back on what was a glorious interlude.  We have to relinquish that which brought us such incredible joy and fulfillment, and learn to take delight in the memories and the knowledge that we had an amazing ride.  We have to learn to be satisfied with what we had without mourning or resenting the fact that we no longer have it.
It’s not easy to learn to move from the glorious to the common and maintain our joy in the present.  But when you’ve walked life’s path for a little while, you eventually come to treasure looking back on the twists and turns that your years have made…sometimes in rain, sometimes in brilliant sunlight, but mostly in those days when the sun comes and goes between the clouds.

I find that for me the answer to contentment with these shifts is a life based on gratitude.  I am continuing to learn to face each day concentrating on finding all the things I can find in that day, in my present circumstances, for which I can be thankful.  Each one is a gift from God for that time and place, and acknowledging those gifts makes every day meaningful and precious. Through amazing times of fulfillment and those ordinary times of day-to-day, I will praise and thank Him.  It makes a difference.

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