Wednesday, December 14, 2011

blessings, lessons and metabolism

I've been reading a lot of other people's thoughts on the year almost behind them. what was accomplished, what stood out, what they learned. this made me look back on my year and I realized...

sometimes looking back can be hard.

one specific conversation with a friend came to mind. we were discussing how God just seemed to be moving among us. we could feel God's presence and it felt like we were growing a mile a minute. blessings for us and everyone we knew seemed to be pouring down like manna from heaven. why thank you, God, we'll take it. we'll praise you for it. we'll shout with joy for all you are doing and have done.

our hearts overflowed with joy and hope about the first six months of 2011.

and then the latter six months hit. hope seemed to diminish as expectations were unmet. my own mistakes and weaknesses became evident. the brokenness and pain of those around me became evident. situation after situation came up, revealing sin's destructiveness and our humanity.

there were lots of tears, which almost goes without said being female myself. there were lots of tearful conversations on friends' couches. lots of friends crying on my couch. with gut-wrenching stories and pain. and I lot of me wondering how situations that seemed to be so wonderful, full of such promise, such blessings, could turn so ugly.

BUT... it was and is a time of learning. a time of refining. a time of lessons learned the hard way and lessons yet to be learned.

so here are a few things I've learned this year...and am still in the process of learning.

*when I feel gloom and glum, serving others is the place to be.

*another person's happiness does not and should not detract from my own.

*sometimes when a friend is suffering and I'm a loss for what to do or say, I just need to get on the ground and cry along with them.

*it can be infinitely easier to forgive someone who has wronged you than it is to forgive someone who has wronged someone close to you.

*school is important. studying is important. but quality of life, relationships, and sleep are important, too. find a balance.

*time really does heal. when I feel like the wind is knocked out of me, I need to remember that in a month or two, it's going to hurt less.

*apparently I'm picking up a strange southern accent (ok maybe this is more of an observation I've heard from others rather than a "lesson" per se).

and the biggest lesson learned?

hope placed in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ is misplaced.

sometimes it takes a bit longer for my heart to catch on to what my brain is saying, and such is the case with this lesson. but here's hoping it sticks.

and finally, another nutrition lesson for 2011 -

(I stumbled across this last night whilst studying for a final and it surprised me a tad.)

when individuals restrict their caloric intake, their RMR (resting metabolic rate) can decrease as much as 15% in two weeks

well if that isn't an excuse to keep eating hearty, I don't know what is.

let the learning continue.


Michelle said...

Love you Ash! You are an inspiration to me, and I'm so thankful for your friendship this past year.

ashley said...

thanks so much michelle! I am beyond grateful for you and your encouragement!!

Marci said...

I will just ditto all those lessons you have learned/ are learning and say that without the Spirit at work in good friends around me, it would have been a lot more difficult to get back on my feet! Love you Ash!