I hate clichés – especially over used ones – like “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” and if I hear this one… again ”Think out of the box”…eish, it actually makes me want to hurl my lunch or a cat, either one (and that is just an expression as I really like cats).
I was sitting on a plane back to Cape Town a little while ago thinking about what I was meant to be doing right with what I have been handed? “The waiting, the possibility, the impossibility, the dream and the reality. What do I make out of that – “a possible, jug of “wait-some-more-for-the-impossible, dream-like-rose-squash” – that in reality tastes like powdered, rosy coloured juice that has the consistency of dishwater.
Seriously – I have never found myself in asking so many questions. So right now I am simply going to write down what I am grateful for over the last couple years of my life… I think its time to take stock of the lemons and whatever else landed in the fruit bowl – just me, my ‘gratefulnesses’ and some a jug of hopeful water that will hopefully turn into something fabulous sooner than later. No lemonade for me – I am chucking those lemons out for the cliché followers – I am not even going to make lemonade, I am going to macaroons (which does sound a little crazy right now but let’s just have fun with this one and see where it leads).
1. I am grateful that sometimes God says no – I realise that not all the prayers I wanted answered in my favour were all going to work to my favour. Sometimes a no – is required and much as it doesn’t make sense at the time.
Much to our dismay but God has a greater plan for our lives and despite us He will grow us into what He has for us. I think it must have been when I prayed the simple prayer early on in my walk with God…”Your will be done…” oh boy who knew what I would be getting for that one (just kidding God – you know me …. and ultimately I trust you… as hard as it may be at times)
2. I am grateful we moved to Cape Town when we did – that was tough and lonely but I also know that it grew us as a family and individually.
I was so stuck in my routine and my everyday life that I don’t think I ever would have made any changes to it if I had carried on in the same way. Are any of you stuck in a rut and in an okay but not great life? Ask God where He thinks you should start making changes or better say the risky prayer of, “God please shift me in this life to grow and to expand my horizons…I want what you want for me”.
Oops – prayed that prayer too. What was I thinking (thank goodness or I might have ended up as a granny on her rocker or going rockers if I hadn’t). So just be prepared for change if you do pray any of the above.
3. I am grateful my marriage went through some rocky times – strange one I know but it has made me certain that the man I married is the only one I want in my life. When Rob and I were at our worst time and it felt like the fairy tale marriage I had envisioned was becoming more of a horror story I thought I would die from a broken heart and a life of mediocrity… I probably would have if I gave up just then.
I am also grateful that Robin was willing to come to the party with me and that we hitched up our socks, dumped our pride in the skip and made something out of a messy relationship. I have to tell you he really is my Rajah – and if you live in South Africa and you watch the Robertson spice adds you would get why he is the spice in my rice. I must admit we have our moments but in he is my best friend and it has been so worth sticking it out.
4. I am grateful for the tough lessons in our life – the hard times, the lean times and the moments when we thought there would be no recovery.
The amazing thing is – we have always recovered and if we understood the lesson and learned what we needed to, we came out if it stronger, wiser and a little less sorry for ourselves. God has humbled us and refined us and it’s only just the beginning. We are learning what to value and what to let go of – family you have hang on to – material things are nice but not worth your sweat and tears and certainly not worth your relationships.
God taught me very clearly that material possessions are but a bonus. The sooner we stop making them the focus of our happiness the sooner we understand contentment. It is also more than just material possessions – we have also learned to just grow up and stop playing the victim! Throwing tantrums has become a thing of the past (well almost – I am prone to one freak out session a year am I not? lol)
5. I am grateful that I have learned to love myself as I am despite the extra fluff around my middle. Well – I am …I was a skinny little twig of a girl at one stage and I allowed it to define me. When I started growing…um…sideways, I went through a really bad time feeling terrible about myself and being immensely critical of my body – now I just say – thank you God that I am healthy and my husband thinks I am fabulous. Love me – love my fluff I say!
God is good. That is what is plainly evident. When we look at life objectively and stop having a breakdown every time things don’t go our way we will be able to see possibility and the alternate route God knows will lead to greater things. I have so many more things I am grateful for but that would take forever to write and read so these are my top 5 for now.
And if you want to feel happier…
a) Don’t try and keep up with the Jones, the Smiths or the Jolie-Pitts of this world – it just gets you into debt and desperate inadequacy.
b) Enjoy where you are at, you will never be here again, you won’t be the same age, your kids will grow up and move out and you will never have as few wrinkles as you do now, unless you get them surgically removed or inject your face full of that crazy poison.
c) Live every day as your best day, wear the expensive perfume or aftershave. Use the fabulous dinnerware you normally only take out for special occasions and sing in the shower at all times.
d) Watch less TV and spend time with your family or on your own, doing the things you always put off, like putting the family scrapbook together from 7 years back and building something fabulous out of Lego just because you can.
In summary – life is great and at times it is as tough as an overcooked lamb chop. But if we knew what was good for us we would stop whining about it and add some years to our lives by making something fabulous out of what we are given and not what the old clichés expect from us – no lemonade for me thank you very much!
Have a super, fabulous week ahead! Ditch the lemonade and make some macaroons!
Lots of blessings,