I remember hearing a story about a boy who received a golden ball of time. Whenever he was impatient with something, he could pull the string attached to the ball, and the ball would accelerate time so the boy would not have to experience what he did not wish to. It seemed like a good plan, but his life then spend by and before he knew it, he was old, life was over, and he wasn’t sure where it had gone to.
There have been times where I have wished for such a golden ball. There was the time when I was single. I wished I could pull a string and bring a handsome, wonderful, God-honoring man into my life. Then I met Jason. Then I wanted a golden ball to move ahead to know whether Jason and I would get married. I wanted to skip the weeks and months of frustration with not knowing where our relationship was going. Then we got engaged. Then I wanted the golden ball to get to marriage. Basically, no matter what is going on in my life, there is always something I would like to skip over and just to something better.
Yet, just like the little boy, if I had such a golden ball, I would use it. Then life would speed by. God didn’t give us such golden balls. He has given us the gift of time. We have experiences in life, good and bad. We are meant to live through them, savoring the moments, both the good and the bad. God gives us everything for a reason and a purpose. His plan will shine through. Embrace the journey. Don’t rush it.
I am a big advocate of reading classic literature . . . although I’m not the greatest at actually reading them myself. I have a very long list of classics that I know I ought to read, and yet I have a hard time actually convincing myself to read them. But then again, when I have taken the time to read a piece of classic literature, I am
always usually pleased that I actually made the time to read the book. There have been a few pieces that are considered classics that I truly did not like. (Think for instance, A Tale of Two Citites and Huckleberry Finn.) However, most of the classics I have read have been enjoyable and worth the time it takes to read them.
This particular blog article takes the time to list ten benefits to reading classics. All of the reasons this blogger discusses are valuable. This blogger highlights the reasons why classic literature has become just that . . . classic. The classic literature has enjoyed the test of time and is (for the most part) worth reading.
It’s that time of year . . . time to reflect on the books I read during 2011. Overall I read forty-eight books (that includes a handful I read only snippets from). Of those, twenty were fiction, and eight were school textbooks. Of the books I read this year, I loved fifteen of them and strongly disliked five of them; the rest were somewhere in between. It was a good year in books. Here are the top six best nonfiction books I read in 2011.
- Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
- The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies
- The Lost Virtue of Happines by J. P. Moreland and Klaus Issler
- Unplanned by Abby Johnson
1 Corinthians 13 is commonly known as the “Love” chapter of the Bible. As I read the chapter, I began to wonder how often I truly show my boys that I love them. There is no doubt, not even a small one, of my love for them, but how often do I show them?
Of course, I dress them and feed them…all of their needs are taken care of. But, more often than I would like to admit, I get caught up with the to-do list or activities I want to do. I forget to show them my love in a way they understand.
So one day I sought to show my boys I love them in tangible ways. (The inspiration for this idea is found here and here.)
We had pancakes for breakfast, because Drew asked for them. It was the third time in four days that we had pancakes for breakfast. 🙂
We sat on the couch and read books together. They both enjoy looking at the pictures of the animals. 🙂
They love to play with stickers, so I gave them each a page of stickers which they arranged randomly on sheet of paper. 🙂
It’s rather hard to take pictures while I’m busy playing with the boys. 🙂 So some of our activities were undocumented. 🙂
We had fun tickling each other. Thankfully I escaped without any tickling. One of the cutest sights in the world is Carter trying to tickle Drew. 🙂
I watched Drew play with his cars…we hugged…and laughed.
Slowing down to purposely show my boys some love makes for some wonderful memories.
Singleness is used by God for sanctifying his children.
I have heard and seen many different blog posts or books written from the perspective of marriage being a sanctifying tool in the hands of God. More needs to be said about God’s use of singleness. Just like marriage (and any other season of life), God uses singleness to mold and shape his children the way he wants them to be.
During my years of singleness, God molded and shaped me in big ways. First, he continually brought me to a point of acceptance of his will. It’s hard to look at life and be willing to accept what God is doing . . . when he’s not doing what you want. Yet, this is what happened while I was single. God was keeping me single and bringing me to a point of saying, “Wherever you take me, I believe it will be best.” That is a HARD place to come to.
I also received practical experience with Romans 12:15. It felt like everyone I knew was announcing new relationships, engagements, marriages, and then pregnancies. All I wanted to do was engage in a pity party, and I did do that all too frequently. Yet, this verse came to mind, “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” I am called to rejoice with my friends as God works in their lives.
Acknowledging that God is at work even when it feels like he’s not. Again, this is hard. Emotionally, I frequently felt like God had forgotten me and was not working in my life. In contrast, he seemed to be working in the lives of my friends who were getting married. Yet, God is always at work in the lives of his people. It’s a matter of bringing my thoughts into line with the truth instead of allowing my emotions convince me of a falsehood. And it’s hard.
Yet all of these things worked in my life to bring me closer to God. Accepting his will, practicing Romans 12:15, and acknowledging God’s hand taught me lessons that will continue to benefit me throughout life.