When I was in school, there were certain classes that I loved, like English, Drama, Literature, History, Psychology, Geology, Public Speaking
& Biology. There were others that, while I liked the concepts, I did much not care for the coursework, such as Chemistry & Radiology. Then there were the ones I just really did not like at all, such as Trigonometry & Advanced Algebra.

While the courses on the first list, that being those that I enjoyed, far outweighed those on the shorter lists of those that I did not like, I had to spend much more time, effort & energy on the ones on the latter lists. I could write a term paper in a few short hours while sitting in front it the television, & jamming to the latest tunes on the radio at the same time. But I would have to lock myself in my room, remove myself from distractions, & relegate myself to complete silence so that I could focus all of my attention on the subjects that did not interest me, & those which were harder for me to grasp, in order that I could make a decent grade.

Life is like that: We do not always get to choose which lessons we are going to have to learn. Some of them are things we would rather not ever learn at all. In my life, I have learned how to raise children, how to manage real estate on behalf of others, how to head successful fundraisers, how to market challenging projects, how to generate sales, how to run my own business, how to host dinner for a dozen people, how to throw successful parties, how to potty train a puppy (okay, STILL working on that one, but I HAVE successfully trained one in the past), & many other difficult but fun things that I enjoyed tackling.

But I have also been forced to learn things that I never ever wanted to learn at all: how to survive a divorce, how to start over again from scratch in mid-life, how to survive revelations that people were not who I believed them to be, how to perform chores around the house that are traditionally ones that men do, how to cook a meal for one person without a lot of waste, how to trust in God to make a way when there seems to be no way through a situation, & many other things, some of which are notable, & others which are not, like how to use a plunger when the toilet clogs, or the fact that it is possible to put too much oil into a riding lawn mower.

Then there are those spiritual lessons that God has had for me: Patience, being the principal one of those. I am amazed that HE stillhas patience with me, after all of these years, as He is still trying to teach me some things about that. And trusting in God when a everything around me points to things not working out, & allowing Him to work on my behalf, inspired of always trying to fix things on my own. That is another one I am still working on mastering. Okay, who am I kidding?!? I have alwasy been a do-er & a fixer, so that last one is incredibly difficult for me.

There are times when God is trying to teach us those lessons that are the most difficult for us when He will remove us from other distractions, & we may feel isolated from others, like we are locked in our rooms studying for a challenging exam in Algebra III. We may wish that we were ANYWHERE other than that place. We will want to move on to the things that we enjoy in life, but we will feel stuck, like I did, with that bedroom door shut against the outside world & nothing but me & that incredibly dry & boring Algebra book to learn in order to move forward.

Sometimes we have to be freed from distractions so that we can fully absorb what is being shown to us. We can fuss. We can fry, we can cry, we can kick & scream, but nothing we do will allow us to advance to the next level until we have completed & mastered the lessons we have been given. The sooner we settle down & start to really focus in what is being required of us, the sooner that door will open, & we will be promoted to the next class. In the game of Life, the Teacher does not accept the excuse that the dog ate our homework, & Summer School is guaranteed if we do not get it the first time around. (I never had to go to Summer School, thankfully. Well, except in these spiritual matters & in affairs of the heart.) In those areas, I am still being schooled.

What about you?!? What areas of your life do you struggle to master? Do you feel alone or lonely? Perhaps God wants you to focus, really focus on something that He wants to show you, because He is getting ready to promote you. Buckle down. Stop resisting. Listen. Learn. Then, when that door opens – & it WILL open – you will be fully prepared to move on! And when you are joyfully celebrating your graduation, take a moment to reflect on how you got there, & what lessons you learned along the way, in those days when you were free from distractions …

– Lou Lehman Sams


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I am a Southern Belle, through and through. Born and raised in North Alabama, where my family settled in 1808, when the area was still the Mississippi Territory, I come from a line of Planters, Patriots, and Pioneers. They were people who were unafraid to take risks, who said what they believed, and who honored God and their Country. Like my ancestors before me, I have strong values, believing that the Golden Rule is indeed golden. I write as a way to relate and as a release. I hope that my words may inspire, challenge and provoke one to thinking about how extraordinary things can come out of ordinary places, people, and things.

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