Today is July 1st and I am excited for several reasons.  First, it is my birthday month!  People born in July are incredible; don’t debate me on this :-).  Second, it means that this 26th year is coming to an end.  I don’t think I have ever been so anxious to see a birthday in my life. These past 11 months – well, you guys who have been reading know some of it.  I’m sure that 26 will be one of those years in my life that I’ll look back on in 20/30 years and see why it was all so necessary but for right now, I’m just glad to be moving on.  I plan to celebrate all month long!

That brings me to today’s blog and it won’t take me many words to get this message across.  Life is very much about seasons, transitions, things ending, and things beginning.  Very few things in your life remain constant from the beginning to the end – VERY FEW.  Everything has an appointed time and when the time is up, you have to be free to understand that and adjust.

One way I remember this is “best by” dates.  When I go into the store, most things have a “best by” date or an expiration date.  You have the option of using products past the printed date; however, there are certain risks that you assume by doing this.  The product is not at it’s best past the “best by” date and can even be a risk to your health.  If we understand this concept with the products we buy, why do we find it hard to understand this concept when it comes to situations in our lives?  Why do *eye* find it hard to understand this concept when it comes to situations in my life?

I found myself upset this weekend over something that had a “best by” date of a year ago.  A year ago.  In the midst of trying to process a multitude of things, I hadn’t realized how long I had been carrying certain things past their expiration dates.  In effect the situations were dead but my emotional input and output continue to give life to them and I had been feasting on them and getting [emotionally] sick on them.  Don’t ever let a situation keep you doubled over past its time.  There’s a time to mourn for things and people that have been lost and there’s a time to move on.  I’m not here to tell you when to move on but I am here to tell you that once you’ve given yourself an appropriate time to process and feel, you must hold yourself accountable for continuing to live and live happily.  I was very much reminded of this and I told myself that June 30 would be the last time I cried about those various situations that I could not control.  And I meant it.  And I mean it.  It was time that I adhered to the best by date, recognizing that there are more, fresher situations that can be – and have been – introduced into my life.

Burton 6.29.14

26 has been crazy but if there’s one thing I’m grateful for NOW, it is for the newfound determination I’ve gained to keep pushing and keep getting better, regardless of the obstacles.  So many things have been sown in tears this year but God has proven that every seed sown in tears is able to be reaped in joy.  It may not be when you want or even how you want, but keep your eyes open and you’ll see the harvest of grace He allows to crop up.  I’m waiting for it all to unfold.

The shame is not in things and people in our lives having expiration dates; the shame is in us not letting things that are supposed to go, go.  What are you holding past its “best by” date?

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