In my last post I said I wanted to read 20 books this summer, several people have asked me what is on my list. I am going to count the books I am finishing so I am sure to get to 20 (my list, my rules 😉 ). Many of them are Classics simply because I own many books I have not read yet or want to reread with more appreciation than I had in middle or high school. After finishing each book I plan to write a post on it.
Dear Friday, I thought you would never come. You see, this is my last week working every day for the next 14 weeks! Starting next week, it is Monday through Wednesday for me. Looking forward to sitting on my porch reading all day next Friday.
Dear Red Cross, I know you want my platelets and I will happily give them to you next week LIKE I TOLD YOU TWO MONTHS AGO. I visit you regularly and allow you to poke and prod me and steal my blood and platelets but this has been a crazy semester (like I said, every single time you call me). I will try to make up for lost time this summer, just please stop calling me.
Dear Red Box, I need you to have good choices when I stop by to pick up a movie for my platelet donation.
Dear AK, You can not wear long sleeves when it is going to be 90 degrees. No matter how many times you say it is going to be 6 degrees, it just isn’t. You live in Georgia, no long sleeves until November. Also, just because you dream about eating outside and going to the beach doesn’t mean I am dreaming the same thing. I love those things too but shouting at me telling what I did or did not dream last night isn’t going to change anything. Also, thank you for the Mother’s Day picture you worked so hard on, it was very sweet, you make a pretty cute butterfly but you might want to tell your teacher that graceful doesn’t really describe me, awkward might have been a better choice or undexterous! Both words have Rs in them.
Dear Face, I know it has been a stressful time the last few weeks and I tortured you with that new face wash. I promise to never use it again. We have got to get some things straight. I am not a teenage boy. I am not eating a bunch of junk food, I even cut soda completely out of my diet. I don’t do meth. Can you please get it together and stop torturing me? I can’t handle the breakouts, it is getting really old.
I have had some heavy posts lately, time to lighten the mood. Here is my 2015 Summer Bucket List brought to you by flip flops and bare feet. Here are my fourteen things to do in the next fourteen weeks until fall semester starts.
I have a confession.
I am a pessimist.
I am a pessimist with anxiety issues.
I am not just the glass is half empty but I am the glass is half empty and there is a water shortage and what if we run out of clean water and then we will all have to start carrying water from streams and running it through homemade filtration systems made from panty hose and water bottles.
Oh, you already knew that? Glad we sorted that out. I have to make a conscious decision every day (and sometimes several times a day!) to look for the best in all situations. There are several ways I have learned to deal with negativity. I have recently been reading in Galatians 6
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (ESV)
1. Be Bold
Verse one encourages Christians to “restore him a spirit of gentleness” anyone who is caught in sin. Keyword here being gentleness! And let’s not forget the second part of that verse – KEEP WATCH ON YOURSELF, LEST YOU TOO BE TEMPTED. Gossip and negativity go hand in hand and it is so easy to get caught up in it. It starts out as one small question like, “I wonder where so and so has been?”. This question may start out as innocent but you or someone else might answer, “Well I heard they were doing this or that with so and so”.
This is your chance to BE BOLD. You have several choices here, you can engage in the conversation about so and so which usually spirals downward into a mindless dribble of all the gossip you have heard about your mutual friends until no one has anything nice left to say OR you can stop it.
Let me tell you, I am guilty as the next southern belle for having a love affair with gossip. My name is Elizabeth and I like to gossip but lately I have felt convicted about it. When someone slides up close to you to tell you something that is none of your business, I want you to flip open to Galatians and say, “wait just a minute! I have to keep watch on myself or I am going to be tempted to participate in this slander” and if it is me scooting up next to you, can you restore me with gentleness?
Next time someone is being negative around you, be bold and ask them why, there might be something else going on they might need to talk about with you. They might just need to be gently restored to the spirit with some scripture, kind words, or advice (or all three!).
Imagine you are an unmarried woman in your mid-twenties in 1967. You are just starting your life, maybe working at your first grown-up job, dating someone, just enjoying your life when you realize you are pregnant. Imagine the panic you would feel, the hopelessness. What are your options?
Would you consider an abortion?
Now imagine you are a couple that has prayed for a baby for years. You have been faithfully waiting for God to bestow the gift of a child. You a growing weary in your waiting but someone comes to you with the opportunity to raise another’s child.
Would you consider an adoption?
I know all of these people, they are my grandparents. two I have never met, I do not know their names, and two I love dearly. The woman chose life and allowed my grandparents to adopt her child and complete their family.
My Pawpaw has sweet Elvis hair, right?! He is the same one I wrote about in this post. I am thankful for all of them. I am thankful for my mother’s biological mom for living through nine months of pregnancy, staying healthy, and probably experiencing ridicule, a rude comment here, a side eye at the grocery store for not having a ring on her finger, friends or family questioning her decision.