Sweet and Sour, Happy and Sad

Sweet and Sour Lead PicIt’s that time of year again.

Sweet and Sour. Black and White. Joy and Sorrow. Good and Bad. Happy and Sad. Excitement and Dread.

Two opposites. More of one and less of the other, but still the two mingled together in some measurement.

For the last two weeks my son asked that the dreaded phrase, “school is beginning soon,” not be spoken aloud in his presence. He didn’t want to be reminded that summer was almost over more often than necessary. “School is beginning soon,” signaled to him the end of the summer. End of free time and periods of nothing to do. That freedom from a structured day is almost over.

School starting is both sad and happy.

Every once-in-a-while he would mourn the fact aloud, and I would listen.

SweetandSour1SweetandSour2Now the tide is turning. He is starting to get excited about school starting. Listing the reasons he likes school aloud to me. Assuring himself that he will enjoy it. He has in the past, why not now? Won’t it be fun to see new friends? Learn new things? Get back to math?

I watch him waffle between joy and sorrow, and I think about the last day of school just months ago where he was saying he was so happy for summer, but also a little sad that school was over.

Bittersweet.

A sweetness and a sourness mixed together. Conflicting emotions over the same event.

Most everything in life is that way. A lot of sadness and a little happiness. Or vice versa.

A marriage starting is so joyous, but it is also the closing of a chapter of singleness.

A child being born is joyous, but also the end of long interrupted showers. There are adjustments to get used to.

SweetandSour4A grandmother dies and there is a longing to see her again, a sadness and emptiness that she is no longer a part of this life. Yet a seed of happiness that now she is greeting the saints and family members that went before her. A small smile tugs on your corners when you think of her dancing and singing in the presence of God. Never will she know pain, sadness, disappointment, and the other things that weigh us down on earth.

A sadness and loneliness when a child moves away to college, and yet joy at their opportunities and new chapter in their life.

SweetandSour3Despair during a time of trial, yet on the other side a new awareness and growth.

Regret that the vacation has only 8 more hours left, but also a tiny excitement at seeing the pets again, resettling back into a routine, and sleeping on your very own pillow again.

There is a sadness of moving away and leaving friends and the known, yet a tiny seed of adventure that is excited to see what the new destination will bring.

SweetandSourQuote3I am not sure everything has the two opposites, but it seems like so many milestones, so many small and large chapters of life are laced with the two. Which in a way, makes so many things easier to accept. It makes it easier to keep moving one foot forward. To count our blessings. To sing in the early morning. To hope for things unseen. To hang on for another day. To trust God with our future.

Somewhere along the journey we realize that God blesses us with emotions of opposite degrees. Sadness will not clothe us physically for the rest of our life, nor will happiness.  We live in a realm tinged by the two.

 

Join the Discussion: What some Bittersweet things in your life? Does this mixing of two emotions hold true for you?

Life as it Comes; Episode 11

Fictionary

A humerous podcast about life.Chaos develops when we learn how to play Fictionary, a game that takes an active imagination and the talent of making something unbelievable seem like the truth. Learn what shadoof and minaudiere may possibly mean.

 

 

 

Learn to play Fictionary, a fun game that only takes a dictionary, paper and pencil, and some people. Here are written directions: http://thebiggamehunter.com/playing/fictionary-the-dictionary-game/; or this one;  http://www.greatgroupgames.com/the-dictionary-game.htm Try this game and let the laughs begins.

 

Join the Discussion: What are some of your favorite games to play?

If you enjoyed this episode, consider sharing it with a friend. Or leave a review on Stitcher, iTunes, or Google Play. Thanks.

Scattered Blessings

ScatteredBlessing1Blessings, you know what they are.

It’s when you pull into the grocery store and there waiting for you is front row parking. It’s hearing the laughter of your husband after you’ve told him a joke. It is forgiveness from another you offended. It is a surprise you were not expecting. It is rain the day before you were going to water the flower beds. It is uninterrupted shower time. It is snuggling with little ones. It is a warm feeling of happiness that radiates from your heart. It is a hug and someone saying they love you. It is fitting into your jeans at the end of summer. It is appreciation. It is protection during a storm. It is a smile from the waitress. It is dinner with plenty of food. It is the greeting of a friend. It is waking up the next morning.

It is different things to different people.

It is all this and so much more.

So many things too numerous to mention.

They are easy to overlook. To ignore. To take for granted. To just expect as par for the course. To even complain about.

And yet without them our life would be gray and white. Color devoid.

ScatteredBlessingsMy son the other day was wrestling with some electronics. You know how it is. You are trying to get them to work and do what they are supposed to do and for some reason they are either doing the opposite thing or nothing at all. Or maybe even crashing and burning. But whatever they are doing, they are majorly wasting your good precious time that you had planned for other things, and they are causing your attitude to plummet towards the south pole.

He was persistently working to solve the problem, muttering to himself instructions and such, when all of a sudden whatever he was doing worked.

He blurted out, “Thank the Lord for scattered blessings in my life.”

And then he was coming into the kitchen to excitedly tell me that everything was working. Spreading his exuberance around the room.

Later I thought about what he said. “Scattered blessings.”

I had never heard this before.

I had thought of the image of blessings being like roses. How we are often looking for and wishing for a dozen roses along our path, when often the roses are scattered along our path. Two here. One up there. Another one further along. Occasionally we come upon three together, but so rarely a dozen sitting together in a vase. Yet we want a dozen at a time so badly that we don’t hardly even notice the pair sitting together, or the three spread across our path in a single day.

Scatteredblessings2Sometimes we delay living or enjoying life until something big happens. We get our life together. But our first house. Have our first child. We get married. Graduate with a degree. We retire and start living the good life. We stop a bad habit. Lose weight. Recover from an addiction. Remodel the kitchen.

We tell ourselves when I accomplish this one or three things, then I will start enjoying life. Slow down. Be happy. Relax more.

Meanwhile we are not noticing any of the roses strewn along our path because all we can focus on is our goal and how we are not there yet.

Grumpy. Complaining. Tight with our smiles is what we are.

“Quit looking for the bouquet and enjoy the single rose,” someone once told me.

I had been rushing by the scattered roses, not appreciating them as the gifts they were, rushing forward in search of the whole bouquet. Bouquets are rare, though, and only appear maybe a few times during a life. Perhaps only a few times more for some, but not all.

ScatteredBlessingQuoteScattered roses, Scattered blessings.

They are the same.

Yes, thank the Lord for scattered blessings.

Lord, help me to notice, savor, and enjoy the blessings you scatter daily throughout my life.

 

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17

 

Join the Discussion: What scattered blessings are you currently enjoying?