Chocolate. It's amazing. It might be the number one reason that my pants are getting tighter every day, but man....it's my sanity saver!
Though my birthday last week (37, how did that happen?) brought many sweet treasures and priceless moments, two friends blessed me specifically with chocolate! The first gift came from one of my most treasured friends on the planet. Only God could have designed that friendship. You see, we've been friends for at least 10-12 years but get this.....we've NEVER met in person! If you ask Kevin to name off some of the greatest influences in my life and the relationships that mean the most to me, her name is going to top the list. It's incredible to know that someone knows my heart so well even though we've never physically met! God took a one time acquaintance online through Amazon auctions at the time (MANY years ago) and then eBay and knit her in my heart with thread that can't be broken no matter the time or distance between us. When I stop and think of blessings in my life that I know that come STRAIGHT from Him, she tops the list. When her very unexpected gift arrive by UPS what was in the box just floored me. She totally sent something that touched my heart deeply and in a priceless way....and then there was the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark. Oh my.....bliss!
Then a couple of days later, a friend stopped by with a card and a gift bag full of my other favorite chocolate...DOVE. This friendship also means so much. Though we currently don't get to spend as much time together as we have in the past couple of years because our responsibilities at home with three kids each just keep us RUNNING. However, when we get together time melts away. It's such a treasure to have a friendship where the other person really "gets" you and is in the same place in life----similar struggles, similar values, and similar desires for our families. Adriana constantly refers to her as my sister separated at birth.
It was when I was
I'm guilty of usually barreling through the wrapper to get to the chocolate so quickly that I don't often stop and pay attention to the little sayings imprinted on the inside. God really kept asking me to slow down and let them soak in. Though I wish I could say I only ate one, I have to admit that I didn't stop at just a couple. God must have really wanted me to learn some lessons.....umm....that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!
Seriously....(aside from the fact that I ate way too many!) my heart was truly touched when I slowed down and read what the messages were. I realize that they are "general" and can apply to many of us, most of the time. They are no more personalized than a slip of paper in a fortune cookie. Yet, it really touched my heart in a deep way. They really "got" me where I'm struggling most.
"Keep the promises you make to yourself." Ouch. One of my biggest struggles right now. I will not do this.... I WILL do this..... No matter what, I will not listen to the lies the devil has in regards to that..... I will make this a priority..... I will not over commit.....I will not let my emotions rule.... I will not let her words hurt.... etc... Yet, I'm failing miserably. The words reminded me that I have to stick to what I promise myself. I matter enough. Enough said.
"Lose yourself in a moment." I easily get overwhelmed with responsibilities that I have to take care of and those that I add (perhaps some that I shouldn't carry!). It's easy to get wrapped up in the seriousness of life. I don't often take the time to just get lost in a moment and enjoy it. I forget to laugh. That is very obvious on weekends in our home. When Kev comes home on Friday afternoon there is this "magical" switch----it's like we all suddenly become different people with the "weight of the world" off of our shoulders. We literally relax so much that laughter and silly moments take over. If people didn't know that we NEVER EVER drink, they would probably accuse us of being drunk. We realize how we need more of those moments on regular days. I realize how I need to just focus on ONE moment and not worry so much about the next one or even the one before. OUCH! Don't worry about the next one and don't fret over the last one.
"Feel good about today." The above statements apply here, but it's also about feeling good about today, don't focus on the failures. I often struggle with only seeing what I get wrong each day and forget to think about what did go right. I tend to see what didn't get done on "my" list and fail to see the typically huge amount of things that did get done. When it comes to my health, I only see the failures on the eating healthy wagon (let's forget we are talking about my chocolate indulgence!!!) and exercise agenda. I see what I didn't accomplish and how much I have to go to be where I want to be. I don't see the little positive changes or give myself credit for the good decisions I make. I often get stuck on what the kids STILL need to learn and forget how far we've come. Etc...
"Make Someday, Today." This one really got me. Tomorrow isn't a promise. Learning to live as if today is our last day is something that we all need to work towards. Definitely true. Definitely something I struggle with. Yet, these words hit me on a different level. They were more of a confirmation that I was needing. A much need encouragement. I've started some projects that are opening the door to some bigger things. I have been very nervous as I've headed in the direction of these open doors. I KNOW it's God's leading, but because I don't see the end project, I'm easily side-tracked. I'm the type that can start doubting so quickly that I wonder if God was talking to me in the first place. God is sending message after message that I'm on the track He wants me. He's reminding me that my "someday" dreams are happening now in small doses. I HAVE to step through the doors He is opening and remain confident that as long as I'm walking in His ways, He will keep the right doors open and close the doors that need to be. I need to shut out the voices of doubt in my own head, ignore the people that are stepping on my confidence, and keep my eyes on the path God has for me. Let that "someday" be today.
See.....chocolate makes you smart!!!! HAHA!!!!! Maybe I should go grab another piece (or two)!