Lessons Learned

My Paternal Great Grandparents

My Paternal Great Grandparents

Ever have one of those days (or, several days) you feel God’s testing you? Your patience, perseverance, temperament? When everything’s going well, I find it easy to hold onto the peace God promises. But then, who wouldn’t? It’s when life doesn’t go according to my plan, that it gets a little more challenging. I’m not even talking world-changing events here—just a glitch in the agenda.

Take this past weekend, for example. My husband was going off on his bi-annual hunting trip—Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon—and I had my free time completely booked. When he’s away, I like to use the opportunity to work on something time intensive. Sometimes, it’s painting a room or refurbishing a piece of furniture. This weekend was different. For the past two years, I’ve been meaning to get to a project I took on for my family. We had a reunion in June of 2011, and I had the brilliant idea of collecting old photos, organizing them and creating a DVD for all the family members —A family history of sorts. I knew it would take hours, so better left for a free weekend when I could shirk my wifely duties.

The first glitch (although I hate to call it that) was that my husband’s trip was cancelled. That would cut my productivity down quite a bit. I know what some of you are thinking—leave him to his own devices and just do what you planned all along. Sounds good in theory, but not so easy to do in reality. The blessing was that he knew I had this project planned and had his own work to catch up on, which didn’t include me. He even offered to do the Costco run and grocery shopping without me—unbelievable blessing. So, after my first day, I scanned almost 200 photos onto my computer in preparation for the DVD. Stellar day, wouldn’t you say?

That’s when things started going south. I won’t go into detail—it would be too painful for both of us—but suffice it to say, even with a few computer glitches (and two hours on the phone with tech support) I completed the majority of the project last night in time for dinner. When I went back out to my office this morning, everything I worked on yesterday was gone. Yes, I saved it. Yes, I have an external hard drive and automatic back up. Remember the computer glitches? Apparently, they weren’t resolved. This is one of those techno issues that has no answer—at least none that I can explain without pulling out the God card.

So, aside from knowing I should have done a double back up, what can I take away from this experience? I’ve been mulling it over as I prepare to pull out all those photos and (again) put them in their proper order. And this is what I’ve come up with: I am truly a blessed woman. In the greater scheme of things, this is a minor blip. In fact, it’s so insignificant, I’m not sure it even garners a blip on the life-radar. The Rim fire up near Yosemite puts things into perspective—by the grace of God, I have a beautiful place to live. The friend whose liver is failing reminds me to be thankful for my health. I have an amazing husband (the best out there, as far as I’m concerned), two wonderful kids and a God-given purpose.

There are people struggling with job loss, ailing family members, disintegrating marriages and disconnected kids. Life is not perfect. It’s not meant to be. Instead, it’s the training ground for sanctification. We cannot learn to respond with grace in times of turmoil if we’re never tested—not that my insignificant DVD project could be considered turmoil. It’s an inconvenience at worst and an opportunity for growth at best.

When I remember that this is not my home, it’s much easier to let go of the frustration of altered plans and look for what God’s trying to show me in the midst of it. Because I don’t believe in coincidences—my computer issues have a higher purpose. When this problem gets resolved, you can bet there’s another one waiting around the corner—a test to see if I can come to that place of peace a little sooner the next time.

Romans 5:3-5 “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

3 thoughts on “Lessons Learned

  1. I am sorry that the project blew up. I am personally looking forward to your finished DVD. But I can wait longer. I wish I lived closer to you because then I could help you with this project. Yes in the grand scheme of life this is minor. Isn’t God good? I love you. Barbie

  2. I certainly need to gain a bit of that thing called patience. Whenever I think I’m withstanding God’s little tests rather well, I wind up realizing what a terrible job I’m doing on my next trial. Good luck with your project. I know how frustrating it is to lose something you’ve put so much work into. I can’t wait to see the completed DVD!

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