Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Packing Light

"Packing Light" by Allison Vesterfelt

I got this book from my best friend who knows the author.  It's a quick read about a twenty something gal, the author, and a trip she takes to all 50 states to find what she has been missing in her daily life.  She thought when she got a career she would find satisfaction or when she got married but she wasn't finding that what she longed for.  When she took this trip she found out what life was like to pack light.  "If you try to figure out how to do everything, all at once, you'll get overwhelmed.  But if you just focus on one task at a time, and keep walking in the same direction, all those little steps add up over time."  We set these lofty goals for ourselves and burn out before we even begin.  Big tasks, goals or journeys begin with one step.  Just do the next best thing and the next best thing and then the next best thing.  "Sometimes we make problems so much more difficult than they need to be."  "Maybe what I needed wasn't fewer expectations, or lower expectations, but the ability to adjust them in the middle of my trip."  I'll admit, I oftentimes set my expectations pretty low or not at all so that I am not dissapointed.  But I think what I really need to do is to allow myself to have expecations but be willing to adjust them.  "When you're doing what you were made to do, hurting people will come to you.  That's what Jesus did.  He just acted like Himself, and weeks after the start of His ministry, hurting people began to flock to Him."  Such a good example.  When we do what God has designed us for, He will bring the people to us that need what we have. "Fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy in this way.  We're afraid so we act out of fear, and because we act out of fear, our fears tend to come true."  Fear is a hard cycle to break and fear tends to breed more fear.  Sometimes doing what you are afraid of is the only way to break the cycle.  "Numbing pain will only make it worse.  The only way out is through."  Ugh.  So hard and so true.  We try and numb pain but we find its still there and we have to do more and more to numb it.  Through it is no fun but it is what finally eases the pain.  "If anyone tells you they have the answers, they're lying.  There are no guarantees.  You just have to take the information you have, and make the best decisions you know how.  Then, if it doesn't work the way you thought it would, you have to admit your mistake and get up and try again."  Life isn't easy and nope, there aren't any guarantees.  We just have to do the next best thing and when we fail, get up and try again.  "Open hands to receive gifts that come, enjoy them while they last, and give freely when it's required."  When we are open to receive gifts we are blessed and then can turn that blessing around and give it away.  "Because when stuff becomes the point of our life, we miss out on the greatest blessing of all: the freedom we feel when we're fully engaged in the push-pull of life, the letting go, and the holding on."      Stuff doesn't last and will always dissapoint.  There is freedom in letting go.  "I think sometimes when things get hard, too many of us assume we're moving the wrong direction.  Like if we're doing life right, it's supposed to be easy."  I want life to be easy but I'm learning that life isn't supposed to be easy and when life is hard I lean on God more and God never dissapoints.  I really liked this book.  It taught me a lot of lessons.  I hope that I am able to pack lighter as I go and that I am not afraid to look for the next adventure.

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