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Raspberries with Cream and Meandering

August 2, 2009 of the valley-lily of the valley-htmlPhoto by Imable

The birds are chirping and twittering right out of a Beatrix Potter movie. There was a sudden gust of breeze for a moment, but it’s gone now. A gentle one is still weaving about the trees. It comes to say hi to me every so often.

It’s a page out of a dream. Moss and clover surround me, with fallen lilac blossoms. I sip my special earl grey tea in my yellow gown and white lace-edged leggings. Jenna trots around, keeping me company. The sun comes and goes. And all the while I think, and pray, and write. A pill-bug crawls by me on the moss; the breeze returns and hands me a lilac blossom, whose family bends in a gentle canopy above me. Before me lay my Bible, some notebooks, the journal I am writing in, a book, and my tea.

I know God has been speaking to me. I don’t think He’s finished yet, so I am waiting. Listening. Puzzling over the clues I’ve been given, trying to see what picture it makes.

Now I sit typing to share this with you, eating raspberries with cream.

I’ve always been one to want to know something ahead of time. I daydream and plan my future, always ‘needing’ to have an idea of what’s going to happen. (Now, don’t get me wrong… I have my bursts of spontaneity, and I love it. But those times have been more of an exception than the rule.) So, with graduation coming up in December, and so many paths to choose from in a rather short amount of time, I’ve been praying for guidance, trying to figure out which path is the right one. I’m always so afraid of making the wrong choice! I don’t want to end with regret. So, I pray.

In living so much in the future in my mind, I’ve forgotten about the present. I’ve forgotten to make the most of the moments given to me right NOW. None of us is guaranteed the future. I need to be living now, not worrying about the future. Did you know that in German, the same word is used for ‘worry’ and ‘strangle’? Gives us a different view on the concept of worrying, doesn’t it? Worry strangles us, and no one that I know likes being strangled. Yet so many of us are choking ourselves with worry about present and future problems. Instead of giving in to that, pray and give it to God. Trust Him with your present and your future. He’s there! He is the one that gives us the ‘peace that transcends ALL understanding’. EVEN in the midst of our floods and dragons.

I’ve been reading Volume 3 in ‘The Sierra Jensen Collection’ (a great series that I would recommend to any teenage girl!), and have learned many things in it. I’m still sorting out my thoughts, but one major thing is learning that, of everything I will ever do in my life, the relationships I have with people is one of the most important. God puts people in our paths that we may never know why He did. Some people you may only know for 5 minutes. Others you may know for years. Still more have paths that will weave in and out of yours, with long gaps between. You may never know why God put them there, or what kind of affectation you may have had on each other. But know that for however short or long a time, you make a difference in people’s lives. You may not even realize what that difference is. But I do know, to quote Kung Fu Panda: ‘There are no accidents.’ Never take that chance moment for granted. I’ve seen this in so many different areas of my life in the past month or so; so many different encounters and happenings.

I know that God is weaving a story. A great story, that includes me, my family, and everyone surrounding us. Friends and friends of friends. (I know parts of this letter are vague, but if you understand, some things make sense in our minds without the use of words. By writing to share with you, I am able to process things and my thoughts become more clear as I do so.) I’ve been wondering lately, ‘Why does it seem like it was important to know this person? Why have we had contact with these certain people over the years? What part does this play? What does it mean? Is this where I’m supposed to go then?’ My mind has been holding onto the abstract, trying to see things and figure out the future.

Now it’s a little more clear to me. We don’t always have to understand every detail and behind-the-scenes. (an important bit for me, since those are things I am always concerned with). I can just rest in knowing that God is guiding my steps. He is weaving my story. What I have to do is live it. I can live an abundant life. (He promises one to each of us if we follow Him.) I can live with joy, even through the storms, even with a broken heart. (joy is different from happiness.)  And I will live loving people. “And above all things, have fervent love for one another!” (1 Peter 4:8) Fervent means ‘very strong, coming out of the heart’. Another way of saying it is love people with a love that is strong and steady. ‘For love covers a multitude of sins.’ (now that verse could be written about further in other directions, but I’ll save that bunny-trail for another time.)

People are so important. I need to focus on the people God has chosen to put in my life, no matter where on earth I am, and love them with a love that is strong and steady. (and that love can only come from Jesus Himself.) I need to try to make a difference in their lives, and truly care about them. I need to be trying to look out for the good of others, not just my own good.

Everyone you meet has something to teach you (even if it’s just what not to do…). If you really pay attention, you’ll find what it is. Don’t take people for granted. I know it’s so easy to be annoyed by them, to dislike people in general most times. But if you look at them through a different window, one of Christ-like love, you may be shocked at what you see.

It’s not an easy thing, by any means. I’ve been a self-professed ‘people-in-general-disliker’ because so many do selfish and stupid things that intrude on me. But…

It’s a start.

And if we live loving the people in our lives, our lives will be so much more full.

I want to enjoy this life God gave me to the absolute fullest. I want to ‘taste the sweetness before me’ (pgs. 85-90, volume 3 stated above), and have fun. I want to be like the plants after a storm… instead of dying with it, becoming something more beautiful through it. Right now, I’m going to concentrate on ‘loving fervently’ my family and friends, and whoever else God puts in my life. Soli Deo Gloria.

~Riley Tea

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