Saturday, April 25, 2015

Looking Back: Keeping it in Perspective

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this:
 God has made the one as well as the other. 
Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.
Ecclesiastes 7:14
~
This was the view I saw in my rear-view mirror on the way home from church Wednesday evening.
I wouldn't have been able to enjoy it as much if I'd have been driving towards it...
...as it would have either been hidden behind the visor or it would have blinded me.


So I did what any good blogger would do.
I reached in my purse and quickly grabbed my trusty point-n-shoot.
"Have point-n-shoot, will travel"...
...that has been my motto for the past two years :)
So when I got home, I uploaded it to my facebook page with these words...

"We all need to let go of the past but sometimes the best view is behind us" smile emoticon
~
As what often happens, the photo got me to thinking about my life.
It seems the older I get, the more I miss the good ol' days and what life used to be like.
Or sometimes even about what it could have been like.
Now, just so you know, I don't dwell in the past as part of my normal routine...
...but I think if we are 100% honest with ourselves, we all do this to some degree.

What would my life be like if this (whatever) had or hadn't happened?...
...what would my marriage be like if I would have done (or not done) this or that?
...or maybe what could have I done to prevent such and such?
~
A while ago I wrote the post If only..., where we visited a place called The City of Regret.
Now, please don't get me wrong...I don't live there by any means,
but I still can stop by there for a visit every now and then...
...more often than I prefer, to be perfectly honest.
I do consider myself to be a positive, joyful person for the most part,
but this is how the enemy works in our lives my life at times...
...by bringing back memories of those things from my past that I'm not so proud of.
Or maybe bringing to mind a time of struggle...
...a time of darkness.
Maybe it's a memory from long ago about some wrong decisions that were made,
resulting in situations and circumstances that you I thought were long forgotten.
I think you know where I'm coming from.
~
But on the other hand, looking back also can be good thing.
I mean, that's what many of our memories consist of...the good times.
Most of us have been blessed to have had sweet memories of growing up in a loving home,
or maybe it's when we think back to when we were first married and the births of our children...
 ...or maybe that first moment when we became a grandparent.
Such sweet memories!
~
Our lives are made up of a broad spectrum of events,
and sometimes it can be hard to keep these events in the proper perspective.
As Christians, we serve a Lord who is abundant in grace and mercy.
And I so love it when the Holy Spirit brings this to mind when I get off on the wrong path!
Whether we have lived a life with many or few regrets,
whether we have gone through many trials or maybe not so many,
it is what He has in store for us that we are to look forward to with joy!
~
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. 
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

So as I think about looking back at this lovely reflection of the sunset in my mirror,
 it is a reminder to me of who I am and where I came from.
It is a reminder to me of those beautiful, happy memories from days gone by.
But more importantly, it reminds me of how God never leaves my side.
Even Especially when the enemy tries to torment by using little reminders of those times...
 ...times when things weren't so good.

And how silly would I be to think that those days are over?!

He was and always will be getting me through them, moment by moment...
...holding me, His amazing grace flowing down all the while...
...regardless if the glorious sunset is before me or in my rear-view mirror :)
~
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:16


I'm sharing here:

Spiritual Sundays
Sunday Stillness
Roses of Inspiration
Grace at Home

34 comments:

  1. a very sweet and quite potent post, debby!

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  2. What a gorgeous sun set! I think we all tend to spend a little time in the past. I know I do. The good thing is that we are who we are today because of the decisions we made in the past so we might as well embrace them (and learn from them). Good post.

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  3. Such a beautiful, heart felt post. I feel this way a lot...I think we all do. It's human nature. But, life you, I don't dwell there for long. Thanks for sharing your heart. I am glad there are other bloggers out there who do this. I do it every now and then...I call it "keepin' it real". And, by the way, that sunset is amazing! Have a blessed rest of the weekend.

    Hugs, Vicky

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  4. Hi
    I am following you from Spiritual Sundays. Love the picture. I hope you weren't driving! Although it does look like it is the driver's side. Love your thought process. Looking behind can be interesting but Christ says to look at this moment in time. And press on.
    Blessings to you.
    Would love you to link to Sunday Stillness if you haven't all ready. www.janiscox.com
    Janis

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  5. Debby ~ your thoughts went right along with that amazing sunset photo. Good thing you keep your little shooter in your purse.:-)
    I know for me, as I grow older, I tend to look back and wonder and ponder on many things. Things I wished I would have done or even known to have done. I see how quickly our lives really go and how much more Eternity should be the sole purpose of what we do here on earth.
    I realize now more than ever that what really matters is what's done for Christ, everything else will one day perish.
    We can't start over, but we can certainly press forward from this day on to the glory of God.
    Satan would love for us to be bound, but Christ is greater still!!
    Praise God for His grace, love and mercy, because I sure need it.
    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Let us rejoice in our Savior, dear friend.

    Blessings, Debbie

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  6. great words of wisdom. You have a wonderful gift of encouraging and exhortation.

    beautifully said friend. lovely capture too.

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  7. I feel like I could have put my name at the end of this post.Your words are a good reflection of my thoughts.One thing I can say,if it were not for God sustaining me,I don't even want to think of where I would be right now.His way is always right and in the end good.

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  8. A beautiful heartfelt post with a stunning photo. Certainly gives me something to think about. Have agreat day.

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  9. A beautiful post with an amazing photo. So very grateful I stopped from Spiritual Sundays this morning. Going to be checking my mirrors on the way to church :) Blessings!

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  10. A lovely picture and a lovely post!

    Today I have a prayer of thanks:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2015/04/songs-on-sunday-prayer-of-thanks-and.html

    Colletta

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  11. You've been 'out in the deep" with the Lord, my friend, and you found blessings there. It's worth the voyage, isn't it?

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  12. Sometimes 'remembering' our past helps us to learn and grow.
    I love your photo!

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  13. My friend, you were born to blog!! Your posts and photos are always beautiful just like you...:) Plus you amaze me.....I love your header and the look of your blog........I still can't do all these things...lol. Have an amazing day my friend!!

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  14. Dear Debby, I am just soaking up the wisdom here.
    Blessings on your Sabbath!

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  15. Hi Debby! i just love that photo and quote you posted for it. It just touches my soul.
    I know what you mean about looking back...there are good reasons to do that, especially if I learned something worthwhile, or experienced joy.
    But sometimes our memories beat us up too. Mistakes, missteps and regrets loom out of the fog for no good purpose. Time to pray those right back into misty history!
    Happy Sunday :)
    Ceil

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  16. I don't think there's a single one of us that doesn't have any regrets. And we know the enemy would love to keep reminding us of them . . . but, we're forgiven, we've (hopefully) learned, and we continue to grow in grace. Good news! Lovely post, Debby. xo Deborah

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  17. This is a beautiful post, Debby. Your thoughts are mirroring some of my own lately. I revisit the past every now and then, I think most of us do. Most of us have a few regrets and then there are those special memories we love to revisit. Happy Sunday to you!

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  18. Very thoughtful post, Debby. I've always tried to learn from my mistakes, but some of them just make me cringe so I've turned those over to the Lord. :) What would we do with Him?
    Hope you're having a beautiful Lord's Day.

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  19. Love your post...so true, especially this quote, "He was and always will be getting me through them, moment by moment...holding me, His amazing grace flowing down all the while...."

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  20. And sometimes looking back we see the bigger picture of how things have worked out for the good. It's a cause for gratefulness as we look back and see how we have made it through. A beautiful photo and wonderful thought-provoking post. Have a good week Debby! And your new header is so nice.

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  21. Hi Debby. Oh, what a post and you've said a lot! We certainly can learn from out past - the good and the bad of it. It's when we stay there that we can have a hard time moving on. I've known so many people who would keep going back over and over to a place in their life and just couldn't let it go and I could see how it was certainly not helpful to them. That is a gorgeous snap and isn't it something how God can bring so much to mind with His creation? Thank you always for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  22. Hi Debby, such a beautiful photo and wonderful words you have shared. I am so grateful that I stopped by. Thank you for your time and enjoy a very beautiful and blessed weekend.

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  23. Ah Debby, this is a wonderful post! I think that we can waste a lot of time looking back with regret, but like you, visiting these things from time to time can be used to remind us of God's hand in our lives and where he has brought us, by his grace and mercy! He is our Rock and our Salvation. He also reminds us of how sweet are repentance and forgiveness. The cleansing tears of repentance refresh the heart. No kidding, I've just experienced that as recent as yesterday. Praise God for the FREEDOM and JOY that we have in Jesus!

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  24. A great post, Debby! I read somewhere that happy people tend to remember the happy things in their past while people who are unhappy or depressed tend to dwell on regrets. I thought it was rather unfair, it is the sad who need their happy memories more. I suppose the lesson is that we all have both.
    Amalia
    xo

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  25. Hi Debby, what a great post. Your words so true!! Love the quote. Looking back on beautiful memories is like a little vacation from time to time. They certainly out weigh the trouble spots we all have from time to time. Dwelling on the special times and memories keeps us happy because we know that sunshine usually follows the rain.
    Thank you for sharing and Blessings to you.
    Hugs, CM

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  26. Lovely thoughts from your corner! It's all about perspective, isn't it? Not looking back with longing and fretfulness, but with learning and thankfulness! Thanks for sharing these reflections...

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  27. He's overwhelming grace is the only think I could point to that has brought me to where I am right now. I wonder where I'd be without His mercy and goodness.

    Looking back could be healthy for us. Reminds us how blessed we are too. :)

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  28. A beautifully written post, Debby, as always, but everything you talked about today, is particularly very timely for me. It has been my own experience that, the decisions which have been made in our lives, (and I use the passive voice here, on purpose, since I believe some decisions are made out of obligation, or in accordance with another, etc.), are not completely in our control, all the time, although some people may argue that everything that a person has the potential to control, is ultimately their responsibility. In any case, looking back on one's journey, there are surely wrong turns that were taken, corners in which the views were not possible to see until they were turned, and even potholes that caused us to trip or fall, this being the trickiest danger, since there are no visible obstacles in sight, and yet -

    I truly am of the opinion that looking back, whether it is with regret or not, on our actions/decisions, is not necessarily damaging, but a vital step towards understanding and enlightening our emotional, physical, and psychological well-being.

    Thank you for being such an amazing and sensitive communicator.

    Poppy

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  29. Debby, your beautiful words have touched me deeply. Yes, lately for some reason, the enemy has me visiting the City of Regret a lot. I have been overcome with "if only" and find myself re-visiting some really ugly feelings. All I can do is remember - remember that the Lord has placed His loving arms of grace around all of it. Like Paul, forgetting the past, I must press on...

    And one other thing - I am also finding, to the enemy's dismay I hope, that in looking back I can also choose to look at God's faithfulness. Yes, He covers the regrets with His blood. And we can bask in the forgiveness of yesterday, the power of today, and the promise of tomorrow.

    GOD BLESS!

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  30. Your photo is gorgeous and your words and thoughts with scripture is beautifully written. Lots of encouragement in this lovely post!

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  31. My dear friend, have you ever thought about writing a book and using your lovely images? You know it would be a best-seller! :)

    Your post is very timely, Debby....you see, lately I keep thinking about the past, the wrong choices I made, the regrets... You know, God offers forgiveness - our sins are completely washed away and He never thinks of them again so I often ask myself, "Why do I keep hashing it up, thinking about it until it consumes me?" The enemy can use our past to get us down, but God can use our past to lift us up and make us stronger. Thank you so much for this post! How I appreciate you. And I truly appreciate you sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

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  32. Hi Debby, So glad to hear from you. Blogger often drops folks I follow in reader; it is really frustrating! I love this post. Like you, I think of the what ifs etc. but the older I get, I can clearly see why things happened as they did. I think you have written an excellent post on what I often think but cannot put into words. Thank you! xoxo

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  33. Oh, you have said a lot here...I am afraid I spend a lot of time in the past. And more in the 'unhappy' parts than I like.

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  34. I've had this post open to read....and reread! I want to write some of it down in my journal when I feel better. Sweet hugs, Diane

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Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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