Bitter. Sweet.

I wish I knew airplane termology, I would describe the period of time right before take off. Because tomorrow I will be taking off for Europe. More specifically, Zurich is where I will be landing on Wednesday morning. I have been telling people that I would try to update my blog as the trip progresses, so I will try to update as much as possible. However, I fail at life when it comes to taking pictures so don’t expect that many pictures that wow you. However, maybe I can speak some words of new insights that could semi-wow you.

I should probably stop telling people about my blog because it might mean people will actually read it. I guess that’s never been an issue before. Ha! Go figure.

But, as promised, I told Tom Cook that would dedicate a blog to him. I don’t have much to say except a thank you. He has provided me with a lot of laughs this weekend. For some context, I would like you know that he is the father of my youth pastor’s wife. My youth pastor and his wife have so graciously let me stay at their house last night as well as tonight. I promise I am not saying this so they will read it, but they have been such an incredible blessing in my life this past year. And Tom Cook is a little crazy (in a good way), so I have been grateful get to spend time with him and his family this weekend. Although, I think I will save the first time I try grits until I actually make it farther south. Thank you for testing out my first peanut butter cake and for the delicious BBQ at Oklahoma Joe’s. This has been a fun weekend. I am extremely grateful.

I was reading some passages from I book that I have enjoyed this past year. It is called “Bittersweet” by Shauna Niequist. The quote reads: “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

I think that I have seen those themes in my life, especially this weekend. It was the weekend after finals, Mother’s Day weekend, college graduation weekend. Despite everything that can label this past weekend, there should be a song of ongoing thankfulness in our lives.

It was frustrating to move out all of my dorm room stuff and transport two carloads to where I will be staying this summer… all by my lonesome. I don’t really want to get pity, but I was definitely growing bitter as each handful made me feel like death was near. (I may be overreacting, but it was hard work.) It was very sad to say goodbye to the girls on my hall and my friends. This was the first Mother’s Day that I wasn’t actually with my mother. Bittersweet.

But life is also so sweet. I have been blessed by people in my life who do care deeply for me. I know I probably say that a lot, but it is because a) it is true and b) I want to remember that I should spend more time being thankful than I spend building up bitterness. So, thank you to my mom, who understands when I am not with her on what should be a day that is all about her. Luckily, every day is really Mother’s Day when I know my mother loves me and I love my mother as much as I possible can. Thank you to my youth pastor, his wife, and their parents, who have let me intrude on their lives for the last two days. Honestly, I think people don’t realize how much it means when you are taken in. It is easy to feel like there is no place to turn or go, but I believe that as the Church, we should all be standing with open arms of love and eyes focused on the Father.

So tomorrow is a little scary for me, but instead of being scared, I am praying that I can keep perspective and be grateful for each little thing. I am graceful for the opportunity, and I am grateful to know that I am loved.

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