It has raised some very interesting questions, like "what is circumcision?" (the concept of which is hilarious to a 10-year old boy, let me tell you) and did "Dinah's brothers really kill all those people just for being mean to her?!" (side note, often we replace concepts like rape and such things with more innocent terms or ideas, which most of the time make it past their radars, and other times not so much).
It isn't the first time I have read through the Bible, but for sure the first time I have done it with my kids, and first time I have done it as this version of myself. It has been so interesting to me what stories resonate more and which ones I find appalling, and which ones I seem to have never heard before. So interesting how living and active God's word is like that.
One story that really hit home for me this time around is the story of Joseph. I especially honed in on the part of the story when he was in Egypt before the Pharaoh and interpreted the dream that was meant to prophesy the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. Something about that struck a cord, I think because we are in our own season of plenty.
I have been pondering how blessed we are currently. How, despite so much struggle around us, it seems we have been exceedingly, apparently unfairly proportioned much, and more than so many. These are our years of plenty.
My temptation is to give into a fear that this beautiful picture is all about to fall apart. When I focus on the beauty of my life, right along with it comes this rising panic that it will all end soon. I know that is Satan, taking away the joy of the moment. I know that fear is the last thing I need to be feeling, and anxiety over things that haven't happened yet makes no logical sense, yet it is a struggle.
I don't think I am the only one, in fact I see this all around me on a daily basis. I see so many of us so blessed, yet struggling with not being able to embrace the moments of relative peace and joy for our lack of focus or our tendency towards worry. I see I am not the only one who is trying to mentally get ahead of the next bad thing, and in the process possibly destroy the blessing of this right now.
Living in the moment is not a new concept, but somehow thinking of this as our years of plenty helps me. Somehow, admitting that the hard times will come, but its not naive to allow myself to just sit back and enjoy it; not because I had better enjoy it before its all gone, but because these years of rest are meant to be a blessing, and to let them go by would just be a waste.
Emily Freeman, in her awesome book Grace for the Good Girl talks about embracing the good times, that they are what we build our faith on for those times of struggle. I am paraphrasing, of course but along with several other nuggets that is one I walked away with. I love that idea of using these times of rest from trouble, to build my faith using the building blocks of God's goodness in these moments. By being purposeful about drawing these blessings to mind, we can ingrain in our minds that God blesses, that He is good, that He has given many perfect gifts, that we are loved, that He provides, that He blesses and that He pours grace.
May we be ever aware, regardless of our seasons be they years of plenty or of want, that we are still in God's eye and His grace still overflows. He is good, all the time.