Thursday, September 2, 2010

27 Years Young.

Today is my 27th birthday. Hip hip hooray.

While I have your eyes on my blog, I want to share a few things I've learned this past year.
One of my favorite lyrics that has been resonating with me lately has been from John Mayer's song, Stop this Train. He sings: "I'm so scared of getting older, I'm only good at being young. So I play the numbers game to find a way to say my life has just begun." I've also been spending the last few years thinking when I get that job I'll really love my life, or when my kitchen is renovated, or when my chairs are recovered, or when Tony and I travel to Italy, or when we can move to a big city I will really flourish. The list is really never-ending and it's not a healthy way to live. Not that any of those desires are wrong, but sometimes I confuse achieving the list with happiness, and you know how it goes...the satisfaction is fleeting.
This leads me to another, more hopeful, writing that I have not been able to ignore from: The Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles Stanford. This book has been one of my favorite-must-read-and-reread-it-all-my-life-kind of books. There is a chapter on TIME, and I want to share a few quotes:

It seems that most believers have difficulty in realizing and facing up to the inexorable fact that God does not hurry in His development of our Christian life. He is working from and for eternity! So many feel they are not making progress unless they are swiftly and constantly forging ahead. Now it is true that the new convert often begins and continues for some time at a fast rate. But this will not continue if there is to be healthy growth and ultimate maturity. God himself will modify the pace. This is important to see, since in most instances when seeming declension begins to set in, it is not, as so many think, a matter of backsliding.

Dr. A.H.Strong illustrates for us: "A student asked the President of his school whether he could not take a shorter course than the one prescribed. 'Oh yes,' replied the President, 'but then it depends upon what you want to be. When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years, but when He wants to make a squash, He takes six months.'" Strong also wisely points out to us that "growth is not a uniform thing in the tree or in the Christian, In some single months there is more growth than in all the year besides. During the rest of the year, however, there is solidification, without which the green timber would be useless. The period of rapid growth, when woody fiber is actually deposited between the bark and the trunk, occupies but four to six weeks in May, June and July."

Graham Scroggie affirmed: "Spiritual renewal is a gradual process. All growth is progressive, and the finer the organism, the longer the process. It is from measure to measure: thirtyfold, sixtyfold, an hundredfold. It is from stage to stage: 'first the blade, then the ear, and after that, the full corn in the ear.' And it is from day to day. How varied these are! There are great days, days of decisive battles, days of crisis in spiritual history, days of triumph in Christian service, days of the right hand of God upon us. But there are also idle days, days apparently useless, when even prayer and holy service seem a burden. Are we, in any sense, renewed in these days? Yes, for any experience which makes us more aware of our need of God must contribute to spiritual progress, unless we deny the Lord who bought us."


This is not to discourage us in any way, but to help us to settle down with our sights on eternity, by faith "apprehending that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3;12b,14).

I've learned in my 27 years, that I cannot stop this train, the grass is not always greener, nor do I need to move to other grass to find satisfaction. I will cling to this truth and enjoy the ride: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

19 comments:

annie said...

Happy birthday! Love this post and all you've learned; being content where we are can be tough, but it's so worth it!

lisa said...

Amen Girl! And Happy Birthday! Wish I could celebrate with you. xo

K. A. Mallard said...

Happy Birthday, Ashley! I have struggled with the same feeling of "when this happens, then I'll be happy." Sometimes it is hard to just appreciate what we have and how blessed we are. I'm glad to see you are striving to live in the moment and enjoy the little things in life. Wishing you all the best in your 28th year...

TupeloLove said...

Happy Birthday! I have been reading your blog for a while now and I love it! I love the post today, I am 29 and I feel the same way about things. We get caught up in the smaller things in life, it's true we need to look at the bigger picture.

THE SARCASM GODDESS said...

Happy Birthday Ashley! Great post. I was just saying to Mark yesterday how I'm trying really hard to be content with the RIGHT NOW. That being said, I'm so jealous you're 27. In a few short days I will be 28, one step closer to 30...and I really want that train to slow down...

jovi said...

Ash! I am so happy for your friendship. I like your words. Can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow :)

(and tonight at kb)

Sara Caldwell said...

Happy Birthday!!! I am less than a year behind you but believe me i can relate! Enjoy 27!

Adrianne Kautz said...

Happy Birthday, Ash! I didn't realize it, but you are exactly three days younger than my sister :) I have been thinking about "Stop This Train" a lot lately, but in the context of watching my daughter grow up(talk about time flying!)while watching my mom, who is very sick. It's very "circle of life" in my neck of the woods these days. Plus I just turned 30, so that puts a new spin on things.

Another line from the great JM that I always think about and that relates to your thoughts on always thinking about the next thing: "Was anything enough to kiss the ground and say, 'I'm here now?'"

Lots of thought provoking lyrics coming from the John Mayer. <3 him :)

Teri Andrea said...

these are my favorite posts by you. always filled with lots of thought provoking words. happy 27th! lots of love.

Emily said...

Happy bday, Ashley! Have a great day and an extraordinary year.

Miss K said...

Happy birthday! Wonderful post, thank you for sharing all the great quotes and advice!

Beth said...

Birthday girl - thanks for this post. You're a constant inspiration to us all. Happy 27 years young. :) much much love.

Lisbeth said...

I really needed that last verse today, Thanks! Happy birthday!

Yolie. said...

Happy Birthday! Enjoy your beautiful day!

sarah, flourish design + style said...

Happy, happy Birthday! xx

shari @ little blue deer said...

Happy Birthday! And I so agree, the key to happiness is to stay in the day! XX!

mary caroline said...

happy belated birthday! hope you had a fabulous day! great post...and so, so true.

Nycia @ Inspired Events said...

Happy Belated Birthday!! I hope your birthday was full of beautiful things. I love your blog and I love this post, I will be using one of the quotes on my blog soon!

You are such an inspiration! Continue to be a blessing and doing what you love!

paula said...

Happy Birthday! I am in the same place as you. Its a good feeling, isn't it?