Watching Butterflies

Welcome  I just love butterflies, don’t you?  They fly so gracefully, have a beautiful array of colors, and seem to find the best places to “hang out.”  When my family and I were hiking over spring break, we had some butterflies that liked to “chase” us on the trail.  My daughter was amazed at how they would stay with us for such long distances, keeping up with our pace, or perhaps we were keeping up with them.  Watching butterflies really makes me think sometimes.

Food For Thought  These butterflies are beautiful and busy, but they don’t seem to stay in one place very long.  When I watch them, they always seem to be landing just in time to take off to a new spot.  That lack of stillness or contentment seems awfully familiar to me in my life right now.  Recently I started reading the book Why Her? by Nicki Koziarz.  I chose to read this book and be part of the online Bible study group because I know that I struggle with contentment.  I seem to be that butterfly that is always looking for that better flower on which to land.

It’s a terrible way for a “grateful” Christian to be living her life, but that’s where I am.  And this is not a recent struggle.  It started when I was about 9 or 10 years old.  That’s when I first became aware of all the things that “matter.”  I became aware that looks matter.  Clothing choice matters.  Cars matter (even if they belong to your parents).  The “right” activities matter.  Last names matter.  Who your friends are, yeah, that matters, too.  Even though I found my talents and niche as I got older, it was too late.  I had already been infected with the “She’s better than me” syndrome.  I had plenty of friends, played sports, graduated with honors, went to a good college, and I was still looking for that next best thing.  

At that time it was all about “the boyfriend.”  I just knew if I had a boyfriend, like all the pretty, popular girls, I would be happier.  This thought process became worse in college as I watched friend after friend get engaged, then married, while I wasn’t even in a relationship.  I spent my late teens and early twenties wrapped up in the idea that having a love relationship would somehow end all my struggles and anxieties.  And all of us can sit around and have a big ol’ chuckle about that now, right?  Obviously, God knew I wasn’t ready for this to happen, and when it did, Oh, Joy!  I did marry a wonderful man, and I was happier, until I started noticing the next big thing everyone else had…a big nice house.  So we bought A House.  Big and nice are relative terms.  Our house has ended up being bigger than we need because we only have one child, but our house is small compared to some of the houses friends and coworkers live in.  We think our house is nice enough, but I know people that turn up their noses to our average suburban dwelling.  I remember we were so proud to be homeowners, but then I started visiting homes of other couples our age and felt like we were “slummin'”  That’s a total exaggeration, but it’s easy to feel that way when you see that flower where another, more beautiful butterfly has happened to land.  Why can’t I have that flower?  And on it goes. I just need to get to that next life stage, that next beautiful spot, and then I’ll find contentment and happiness.  Then I’ll settle down and have peace.  So I just keep chasing these butterflies from one spot to the next.  Where will I land and finally be content?  Having a baby, trying to have more babies (and failing), losing 100 pounds, running a half-marathon, changing grade levels in teaching, giving up the diet and running plans, quitting the job, pushing my child to be successful at something, investing in various spiritual activities and self-improvement methods, changing careers, wanting to move, wanting to start fresh, wanting more return for the investments I make in myself?  Have I, or will I ever, find peace in any of these spots?  Maybe this is just who I am.  Maybe I’m just a chaser.  But I don’t like it.  My husband doesn’t like it.  My family doesn’t like it.  I’m pretty sure God doesn’t like it.  Sometimes I just can’t seem to stop.  But I am working on it.

Now let’s look closer at these natural beauties, the butterflies.  They do stop sometimes.  They do find a place to rest.  They do find contentment in certain gardens or certain places along the path.  And even if they fly off for a little while, they often come back to that spot that brought them enjoyment and peace.  I can make God, my Father in Heaven, my place of contentment, my garden of peace.  If only briefly, I bounce off to find happiness from another source, I can be assured that I will get my true rest and provision when I return to this place where God always provides and God always gives me a place to land.

Today’s Scripture is Psalm 28:7  “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” (NIV)

Today’s Recipe We haven’t done a Wellness Wednesday recipe in a while, so I thought I’d offer a great ice cream alternative for the upcoming summer months.  Yes, I do think summer will arrive eventually!  Many of us have experienced a delay in spring this year, so summer seems SO FAR AWAY!  Anyway, this recipe is for Peach Smoothie Pops, and they are so YUMMY!  They are refreshing, lightly sweet, but also creamy.  They make a great snack or guilt-free dessert at only 50 calories and 0 fat per pop. (Nutrition information calculated on Recipe Nutrition website.)

Peach Smoothie Pops (makes 8 standard-size popsicles)

  • 1 can no-sugar-added peach slices, drained (I use Libby’s)
  • 1 5 or 6 ounce container non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 TBS non-fat milk
  • 2 tsp honey

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth and creamy.  Divide mixture evenly between 8 popsicle molds.  If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can also use wax-lined paper cups and popsicle sticks.  Place in freezer overnight or 8 hours.  When ready to eat, run warm water over the mold to release the pops.  These are so good, you won’t want to wait until summer!