Learnin’ Stuff

Woods Wedding-3

 

There are new eyes peering at this page. I am beyond excited and grateful to welcome four new followers to TGoMH – clearly I wasn’t thinking of what makes for a good acronym when I named this blog, but I’m so happy you’ve invited me into your email box on a weekly basis nonetheless. If you’re a reader, you’re with me. You get it all. It’s like getting dressed with the bride; everybody’s involved.

So let’s dive in. First up, TGoMH- good grief, I can’t even type the letters in their proper order without silently mouthing The Ground of My Heart – is officially under construction. New look, check. Next I’ll be giving a lot of love to the other pages, and more than likely making them a bit more interactive.

And now that summer is officially here, I have also re-committed to putting my learning hat back on. I’m not against learning the other nine months of the year, but I don’t make a point to acquire new skills so much as during the warmer months. We’ve been raised this way if you think about it – summer reading lists, archery classes and bead-making sessions were all the rage when I was younger. Sports always dominated the fall and winter and oh, it’s that way even now because I am forever hooked to a man who worships Jesus with all his heart, and Alabama football with his mind. (That’s a joke. But not really. But I’m kidding. But not really.)

So as we Southerners say, “I’m gonna learn you something today.”

Dow

Charles Henry Dow and Edward Jones were the creators of the Dow Jones we hear about every day. The Dow looks at the 30 top-grossing companies in the US and we gauge the health of the market based on this. Is the Dow up, or is the Dow down? I should have made a pop quiz to go along with this.

The nightly news never ends without at least one tiny report mentioning the above. But what I wish they’d focus more on are the risks associated with it all. The trading of shares is legal gambling, betting that things will work out. Someone has to make a decision to buy or to sell, and the heart-pounding risk in doing so simply fascinates me.

Yesterday, a group of my colleagues gathered together for an intimate conversation on the battle most Americans are involved in from 9-5: work versus your personal life. Each one of them spoke openly and as far as I could tell, without fear of what the others might think about the choices and sacrifices they’ve made to be successful in New York. (It ain’t cheap.) And I don’t know why, but I spilled out some incredibly personal things with them. I mean that in earnest, I don’t know why I did that. But it probably has something to do with me being in an extremely good mood because I’m currently fasting on only fruits and vegetables from sunrise to sundown. Fasting, or “Maximizing Room for God With a Bonus of Losing Two Pounds” as I like to think of it, is not for everyone but it always brings me such peace. Albeit, chatty peace.

When the question “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” was put before us, I told them that I had spent most of my 20’s doing the things that scared me most. If I was in the ‘plane’ of life, I friggin’ jumped at every opportunity I saw below me. Sometimes I landed right on target (Hello, graduating college early) but most of the time I wound up kicking and screaming from inside my own parachute, miles away from where I planned to be. I didn’t go into every dark secret, but I was candid about my choices, apologetically so. I barely scratched the surface of risky things that I did: I left a successful fashion designer job to be an actress. I wrecked two cars. I never took birth control and never thought to because bad things didn’t happen to me. I never had a savings account. – I just lived and lived wild, and carelessly. I always called home to speak to my grandparents though. At least I got that much right.

When I left the meeting I mentally pulled myself into a private conference room to ask ME just what the heck I was thinking when I opened up like that? And then, slowly, I loosened the grip on my own collar, lowered myself to the ground and let revelation rain down on me. In that moment, it became clear that when people ask me “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

THE ANSWER IS NOTHING.

I have done everything that scared me. I mean sure, I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t get a hair relaxer in the next week – I never claimed to be a ‘natural’ chick – but aside from that, there is NOTHING.

I am not afraid to quit my job – because God is my source. I am not afraid of losing my friends – because He works everything together for my good. I am not afraid of dying – because what is to come is better than the present suffering. I am not afraid – because no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

‘Tis all good, yes. But when I go deep, deep into my heart ground it’s also clear that the next decade can’t and won’t be lived with reckless abandon. With Christ, my husband, our family, life has too much purpose and potential to squander on stupid, stupid things. And like real life trading, I’m thinking of and praying for some additional advisors. Preferably with gray hair, so I know they’ve been around the block before.

What one does today for the sake of tomorrow, is called an investment. What one does to enjoy today at the expense of tomorrow, is called debt.

–          Kenneth Copeland

Read that again if it didn’t impact you the way it did me the first time. Did you stop and pause, and instantly want to invest in the things that you value? Did you call up Bank of America, and demand to know if the American Dream is still affordable? Did you say to heck with the Dream anyhow? Maybe the Dream is meant to distract from what’s really important. Maybe your arms aren’t big enough to hold the Dream and the Kingdom simultaneously. Maybe your heart can’t serve two masters.

Maybe it was never meant to.

 

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