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My husband and I moved to Seattle from North Idaho right after getting married in the summer of 2000. It wasn’t necessarily where I’d wanted to be, but it sure beat the heck out of North Idaho, or at least it did to me at the time…I thought…until we actually got there that is. Having been born in California, I’m a true California girl through and through. Sunshine makes my heart tick and my feet dance! I had little to no love and patience for the dreary, wet, gray that greeted me all too many a morn’ in Seattle. Thankfully, we were able to high tail it outta here to sunny San Diego after just a couple, but seemingly very long years.
Ah, San Diego, now there’s my kind of paradise. It especially felt so after having come from the rainforest capital of the northwest! But what I’m sure you’d really like to know right about now, rather than hearing more about the distaste I’ve had for Seattle, is why am I now living back here if I disliked it so much the first time? Two things I have to say about that: first, I’ve asked myself that very same question a ton too many times in the last four years we’ve been back, and second, the funny thing that I’ve discovered about saying that you’re never going to do something is that God has a funny way of asking you to do just that; or at least that’s been my experience, but all of that is a whole other story for perhaps another time. What I’d really like to focus on instead, is what the Lord has been speaking to me through this Stressed-Less journey regarding my attitude about all this Seattle rain.
Here, in what's often referred to as the great northwest, there’s a saying that goes something like: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes or drive five miles and it’ll change. While it’s meant to be a joke, the reason it’s funny is because there is actually a lot of truth to that. However, when someone has attached a happy stipulation to the sun, and an unhappy stipulation to the rain, this flip-flop weather pattern suddenly becomes a very un-fun roller coaster of emotional mood swings. This is definitely not how God has intended for us to live, but rather He says in His Word to, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” ~Phil 4:4, this being just one of many scriptures I could quote. Even though I’ve known this for quite some time, I still find myself allowing things as frivolous as the weather, to affect me negatively. The question is why? I discovered the answer to that question in the first week of the “Stressed-Less Living” study.
Back when I was living here in Seattle the first time, I was not yet a believer. I did not become one until just a couple months before moving to San Diego. It was there, in San Diego, that I heard and learned Col 3:2: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Since then, I’ve lost sight of this truth and my focus on God and instead have allowed the stress of my struggles in life to cause me to start re-focusing on all those “earthly things” and by doing so I’ve lost sight of the many blessings the Lord has poured into my life. In week one of this study, we were challenged to start a list of five things the Lord has blessed us with, to share that list, and then to add to it throughout our journey as we were made aware of additional blessings. If you haven’t read my first list, but wish too, you can click here to do so http://theword-vs-theworld.blogspot.com/2013/04/blessed.html, or read on for the continuation of that list.