My 37th birthday was Monday and I posted a birthday request to Facebook.  The request was simple.

What I got in return were some powerful words of advice that entire books could be written from.  I’d like to take time to unpack this collection in an effort to lift up wisdom and understand it even more.  These posts probably won’t be very long, but hopefully, just taking the time to tackle each one will give a great appreciation for the learning that others have shared.

For the most part, I’m going to go straight down the list.  The first piece of wisdom is from an East Texas friend who we’ve known for quite a while.

“Everything is a process.”  Great words.  So often it seems as if we want what we want when we want it.  That holds true for acquiring things, resolving situations, being in a place of financial stability, having fulfilling relationships, or making chocolate chip cookies!  If we can’t have it “right now”, it sometimes seems impossible and our frustration turns into anger or even worse, apathy….which leads us to a listless and dull existence of expecting and usually getting….nothing too special; no situations resolved to a good end, no satisfactory financial stability, no chocolate chip cookies.

…but if we can see that every one of the obstacles we come up against as just steps in a process to get where we want to be, then we begin to see not only that we can be engaged in the process, but that we must be engaged in the process.

My friend’s post also refers to Nehemiah.  In case you are familiar with the story, there is a whole book of the Bible that outlines Nehemiah’s burden for, planning of, and implementation of a plan to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so that the holy city could begin anew.  He started with just a vision and a burden for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.  He didn’t have money, workers, local support or a safe working environment, but step by step, God provided for him as he trusted God for the process to unfold.

Whether it’s the vision of what your family should be, what your finances should look like or what sort education you need….it’s a process.  It won’t happen over night and it won’t be without setbacks and hardships.  It will, however, provide you with opportunities to grow, be creative, engage others and seek (as well as give) help.

How have you seen pieces of a messy situation suddenly make sense in your own life? Ever seen how a mistake you thought you made was redeemed into a blessing you didn’t deserve? Ever had an “aha!” moment where you were able to see past the aggravating stuff of the moment to see the big picture?  Maybe you’ve outlined the steps for success and have just begun to knock them down one at a time?  If so, then you are probably able to see appreciate the wisdom of my friend….everything is a process.