Last Saturday, I decorated for Christmas. If you read last week’s blog, you know that this simple statement means so much more than the few words it contains.
It’s the first time that I’ve decorated my own place. It was difficult, but I learned some life lessons from this seemingly fun, usually joyful activity.
- It’s important to keep things in perspective. Know the context. A poem I read more than 30 years ago sticks with me. It listed lots of “yucky” things, like vomit. Then in the second stanza, it turned those words around. It said something like, “to a mother whose child has just swallowed [a button], vomit is beautiful.” Know the context for yourself and for those around you.
- It’s important to know what you want to do. Often this is harder than we might think! Balancing our needs and wants; balancing other’s needs and wants with ours; none of that is ever easy. And if we are living through a major transition–a move, living with the death of a loved one, a new birth–then we are navigating a new path, and what we believe to be important may be different than anything we’ve ever thought. And that’s ok. have the strength to be honest with yourself.
- It’s important to know why you want to do it! Do you just want people to look at you and say, “Isn’t she a good person?” Or do you want to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”? (Micah 6:8) Do you want people to say, “Isn’t he a good dad?” Or do you want to do the hard work of parenting, even when those around you have no idea why are do what you do, so your children have a chance to grow up healthy? Again, be honest with yourself.
It’s easy for me to get carried away, so I’m going to stop here for now. There will be a few other “life lessons” that I will share next week.
And believe me, this is definitely one time that I feel like, “Here I go again.” Only, somehow, everything is different.
I want to remember those men, women and children whose lives were forever changed by the bombings in Hawaii. May they know God’s peace and love in their lives. And may you, too, experience God’s peace and love.