I've been thinking...don't act surprised. I can see why Solomon asked God for wisdom instead of riches or any of the other things he COULD have asked for. Sometimes I feel that wisdom is the one thing I'd ask for if I had to pick something. I think it is the key to all the other things you can dream of. If God gives us wisdom, along with that comes discernment, gratitude and good judgment. In the Bible (Proverbs 1:7), it says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." In this case, the word "fear" doesn't mean being afraid, it means being in awe and reverence--it is realizing who is responsible for all of creation, and realizing who it is that can tame your inner beast if you allow Him.
I don't know much, but I do know that gratitude has unlocked a lot of spiritual doors in my life. I've felt so thankful for everything that there have been many moments when I didn't care what God did, as long as it made me more like Him. I have felt convicted. I have felt sad about the way I've thought or acted. I've had God tell me to shut my mouth. However, in his infinite mercy, He has lifted my head over and over again, and allowed me to look at the love in His eyes. Do I still do and say crappy things now and again? Yes, I do. But God teaches me something from every mistake I make. Learning from your mistakes with God's help is how you get wisdom. The fool is the one who keeps doing the same dumb things over and over again and never learns a thing from it...that's how dysfunctional patterns develop. I am asking God to get rid of my foolishness and give me wisdom. If that means learning from my many mistakes and accepting them, that's okay with me.
Today, I'm grateful for...
Summer. I refuse to give up on Summer, even though we're back in school. It's always a time of joy for me and it's my "happy thought" during the Winter season.
Friends. Whether it's making new ones or keeping up with old ones, I am so grateful for the people in my life whom I can trust. Real, true "bosom friends" (thank you, Anne Shirley) are a gift from God. They are the type of people with whom you can pick up where you leave off. If you have those types of people in your life, cherish them.
A happy husband. He has been looking forward to his portage trip for the last year. Seeing him giddy and excited about venturing back into nature makes me happy.
Reflection. Sometimes, watching my kids go through things and come to certain realizations in their own little lives gives me pause to reflect. Liam passed his karate belt promotion test today, but he came out of the testing upset that he didn't do everything perfectly. I told him that I was insanely proud of him, whether he got the next belt or not. I wish he wasn't so hard on himself, but now that I have had time to think about it, I can see myself in him. I don't want to do something unless I already know I can do it well. I am incredibly hard on myself when I fail. I'm harder on myself than I am on anyone else...sigh. God loves me anyway and He's insanely proud of me, whether I succeed at something or whether I fail. God teaches us deep things through our children.
Cool nights. What I love about September is that the days are hot, but the nights are cool. For those of us without air conditioning, this is a wonderful time. :)
Bible lessons. I think one of the main reasons there are so many books in the Bible about specific people is so that we can learn that everyone has successes and failures in their lives and they are still considered God's beloved. Those people we see as the "Fathers of the Faith" made some really dumb moves in their time. All of those stories, though, are tied up with the ribbon of God's grace. God had grace for them and he has the same grace for us.
My hope is that you learn from my shortcomings and cut yourself a little slack. I'm trying to learn to do it, too. You don't have to be perfect. You are loved as you are, but God has promised to make you a better version of yourself if you let Him. Perfection isn't required and, really, the more you strive for it, the more it evades your grasp. Just be who you are. God knows you. He loves you. He won't leave you if you make a mistake. He is slow to anger and rich in love.