Today I have been thinking a lot about hardship, forgiveness and distraction in our lives.

So often, I find myself distracted. Just tonight I was trying to read something on my computer, I thought about something, almost submitted to impulse of wanting to pick up my phone look at this and message that person–but resisted. I have been working on trying to be focused and intentional in what I am doing, who I am speaking to and what is important right then. Some call it living in the moment. I call it sanity. With all of the distractions out there today, Facebook, Twitter, email, texting, radio…it seems we are missing the beauty around us. Like tonight when we took back roads home and rolled down the windows. I was on my phone mapping out our route (I wasn’t driving) home even though I knew the way like the back of my hand. I finally look up and see the beauty of the evening around me. There is a stunning sun set, my two beautiful children laughing in the back seat, wind blowing through my daughter’s hair, and my husband in awe of the country side he hadn’t seen before. I almost missed that. I almost let that moment pass me by. 

As we are all distracted, and running around acting a little insane it seems that we say sorry more. We are sorry for being so busy, so late, so distracted. We have too many ball games, book clubs, meetings, conference calls, projects, lunch dates and work. We try to fit in as much prime family time as we can but we are so tired from being so busy sometimes we can’t even enjoy that prime time. I’m tired of having to ask for forgiveness for being late, and having too much on my plate. So I made up my mind that those who love me and care for me will show me grace, no matter how busy, no matter how much I mess up or look like a moron. They will always show grace, and they won’t expect me to be sorry. They get it. And I love them back for this. Me not having to say sorry or ask for forgiveness will hopefully save me about 30 minutes a week and I can spend that prime time with the ones I love. Lets not be busy….let’s LIVE. We get one shot. Everything will be over in a breath, a heartbeat. Lets see the beauty around us and LIVE. 

Hardships are a very sandy beast. But without hardship there is no faith and no trust.

James 1: 2-4 NIV “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I love this piece of scripture. So often I have found myself feeling down, a little broken, hurt and sad. I repeat this scripture and remember that there are lovely people out there with such greater hardship then I. I think of Micah, a family friend un-justly sitting in prison every day. I think of all of the foster kids out there going place to place with no mom and dad. I think of the people who have lost a love one. I think of those fighting for their life DAILY. At these moments God gives me grace–this is my anchor. He brings me down, humbles me and reminds me that it is ok. It is ok to forget, and feel bad for yourself. Then he says, pick your self up, dust off the sand and help someone else do the same. There is good and bad. We have to be grateful for both…because really we have no idea if there is a difference. 

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