Encouragment

Lesson 48: A kick from behind…

Life sometimes wallops us on the back side.

Target Concept by ponsulakHave you ever found that? Actually more often than not you are just amiably piloting your way through the maze of your life and with no warning you get a fat slap on your rear end that sends you careening through the hedge to the other side of who knows where.

There you sit – aching seat side,totally confused and bewildered. I have to actually chuckle because a few years ago I thought that was just totally not on. How dare we get a butt whacking when we are seeking after everlasting happiness … the nerve of it.

Here is the kicker though – and not in the butt or maybe that is exactly what it is –  life is not about finding happiness.

 

Say what? Can that be true – after all these years if us searching with such vigour and passion to find the dreamlike status of true happiness we now find it was a journey began in complete ignorance and prodigality.

All our lives this has been our intent goal. All that which we have hoped to achieve has been solely based on one end result and that is happiness…

Getting the promotion; finding our spouse; producing a gaggle of children; becoming a world-famous pie eater; having our name published in the Times magazine; discovering the missing sock you lost the last week in the dryer; buying the new Ferrari or for some a Fiat; living in the house of your dreams or at least moving out from your parents place; losing 10 pounds and never finding it again and the list goes on.

But.. and I hate starting a sentence with but – but seen as though we are discussing the butt end of our issues here it may be apt – happiness is not actually what we were designed to run after. You see happiness is fleeting – in this world we all know that well.

One moment you could get the promotion and the next you realise with the promotion comes a lot of sleepless nights, hair loss and bad breath. That promotion may result in an increased bank balance but ultimately it does not lead to sheer happiness at all – it is more than likely responsible for the depletion thereof.

So what is it that we should be hoping for and working towards in this life that will bring us the peace we so covet?

In a nutshell

FULFILLMENT

Consider the difference between a moment of happiness and the eternity that comes with fulfillment.

When you feel fulfilled in something there is very little that can remove that from you.

So lets say you get the promotion and yes it’s tough and you feel like you are operating more out of a caffeine and donut induced energy that sleep but you are able to make a considerable difference in someone’s life or the economy of several lives – you would sit back fulfilled.

A feeling of being full – in your spirit – not your belly.

Not something quick and temporary but something lasting – something meaningful and remarkable.

The wallop on the backside we should expect – and yes, they are really tough to deal with at the best of times but it is these moments and times in our life – when we face the kicker – when we grow with it that we can get to a place of fulfillment.

Like I was saying to my son just the other day when he was asking me why things had to be so challenging in life –

“We don’t grow when things are cosy and comfortable. We have to get uncomfortable to be pushed into growth. Then when we are through those moments we can look back and appreciate the challenge. This is perspective – we don’t have it until we are through it to look back. Only then can we visibly see the growth and the value of the trials.”

Finding fulfillment is a far greater mission than seeking happiness – one that will bring perspective, growth and a depth to us as human beings that is far more remarkable than fleeting happiness.

Think on that for a moment and grab your life with both hands – there are so many remarkable things left for you to do and discover …

To find that fulfillment.

Soit en paix,(be at peace)

Michelle


Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Lesson 48: ME

I am coming to terms with who I am.

uniquely me

As I write this I know I am putting it all out there which is something I tend to veer away from. I share but not enough to let everyone in – because I don’t want too much information to be given, enough to make those who read have any more than just the tiniest sliver of the me that I like to keep for just me…safe

You know…safe…hidden…just my thoughts that no-one else can hear

Today, however I don’t feel like hiding from this piece of writing…I feel today for some reason it needs to be written – I know I am not alone in these thought crevices so here it goes and please …I want no response for my thoughts only of your own experience in this place if you choose…

I have never enjoyed the printed image of me

I judge it from a place of criticism and disappointment

I see these images from a place of the criticism of others and so I recoil from most images that house me within them. There are the odd moments when I feel I can allow an image which has somehow made me look more okay…I can endure it…most I simply delete

I am generally dissatisfied with most parts of me

Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate myself or even feel that under confident but I don’t exactly think that much of what I have in terms of attributes, characteristics, skills or talent

I have always felt someone else has more and that what I have is less than average on many levels

I realise sitting here today that this is so very sad

I have been sad

I must make my Creator, Abba Father deeply sad

It needs to end

I need to love who I am

This is the only me I get

I want to wholly embrace who He made me to be

The nose that I had wished to be smaller and more petit is the nose He chose for me.

Perhaps it has kept me a little more humble and it is a good nose regardless of its form.

The little and not so little bulges around my middle – they are there – He didn’t put them there…I take full credit for that but I will love the fluff. It is part of who I am right now.

My knock knees, my curly toes, my thin lips, my less than dainty hands, my thin hair, short eye-lashes, scars, stretch marks (I give my two beautiful children credit for those) and a few rather more unmentionable areas…

I thank my ADONAI Elohim for those He chose for me and those He knew would happen over time.

I am Michelle

This is what I look like

This is how I sound

This is how I write

These are my thoughts

These are my flaws

I embrace all that is me

I must

If you want to you can – if you don’t that is entirely your decision

It won’t change who I am

I don’t want to change them

Not anymore

I want to be this person

Fully be who I was designed to be

I want to love this body

Regard it with respect and treat it as such

I want to love and laugh about the things that make me uniquely me

His design is without error – His plan created before the beginning of time

I want to sing because I can

And it makes me happy

Dance because I want to and I can

Not because I am that good at it anymore

Write because I love to

And let’s face it – it does keep me out of trouble…

 

This life needs to be lived loving who we are and who we will be if we can do that.

Starting now…

Lesson 46: Contemplating life

[kon-tuh m-pley-shuh n, -tem-] noun

  1. the act of contemplating; thoughtful observation.
  2. full or deep consideration; reflection: religious contemplation.
  3. purpose or intention.
  4. prospect or expectation.

Ben EarwickerI realised today that I have been a deep space of contemplation for the last 5 weeks, maybe more. Today I have been in contemplation. With purpose and intention I have been considering the past events of the last 6 months or so of our existence here on this planet. It is deep, I know but it is also necessary. So many of us live in a deep space of denial and without intention move forward day by day, neither reflecting on or thoughtfully observing the meaning of what has transpired in our days. Today I contemplated the meaning and depth of two heart moving stories: Story One – Family C A beautiful, giving family has been fostering a character of a little man, let’s name him Solomon, he already looks like a little old man full of wisdom and advice. Solomon was given to this family he was a days old just three months ago. Today they released him to his new parents. Their season in his life has now come to an end. Their love, affection and care has undeniably given him a foundation that he may never truly consider as he grows up with his new family but it is there, indelibly stamped into his make-up and will have purpose and intention in his destiny to come. This is their hope. Baby feetA bitter-sweet moment as one family releases their somewhat temporary but no doubt defined, right to a son. Story Two – Family S A mother of 4 loses her baby boy after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Her hope of nurturing this little life and cradling him in her arms dissolved in a matter of moments. Not of her choice but taken, for reasons no-one can fully determine. Her love for him no less, only more now as she relinquishes the son which she has focused on so intently for the last 20 weeks, his life in hers. For those precious 20 weeks she knew him and him her. This life-changing moment as a family loses a son, a release not chosen by them. Now, only the hope of a future destiny in realms outside of theirs, with his Maker, his King, a destiny beyond this world’s rings somberly true.   We live in our own space, in our own time, moving past others, not knowing their pain, their trauma or their worries. We so often focus on what isn’t going right with our lives, what we lack and what we cannot find. We complain and fuss and sometimes cry about things that don’t go our way. And sometimes we forget… We forget what we have. We look past what we have been given in every new day. Can we just stop and contemplate… Contemplate on what has been good. What we have received. Our daily bread, the blessings we have forgotten about, the miracles we have long since celebrated. Can we remember that as we take our children to school, finish the chore of homework and scold them for leaving their clothes on the floor that somewhere in this world, in our city, our suburb, in our own communities, there are others who mourn their loss, with reason and intention. We are only human and we do have rough days, I am the first to acknowledge that. Just today I was struck by the smallness of my drama in the light of these two stories. I wanted to honour these two families. Whose heartbreak today should mean our contemplation about what we really should lose sleep over and what we really should be thanking our Heavenly Father for. Family C and Family S – you are in my prayers. May you know the comfort of Adonai Elohim. May you cling to that which brings you hope and the life that you had part of. It is not lost to you. For both of your families, these little boys future destiny lies in the Hands of the Father. I honour you mother to mother. Parent to parent. We know the Father heart of God will give you strength to endure and grace to continue to love, to give thanks and to hope. And to all those who know this place, may His comfort cover you.

Psalms 56:8 You keep track of all my sorrows; you have collected my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each on in your book.

Michelle   Images courtesy of: Pensive woman: Ben Earwicker; Garrison Photography, Boise, ID; http://www.garrisonphoto.org Baby Feet: Lisa McDonald freedigitalphotos.com