The hubs and I went on what I call a ‘date night’ walk this evening. We needed some alone time, a quiet moment to breathe and just be together. We live out in the country where there are dirt roads and wide open spaces…The perfect place to get lost in God’s beauty. As we held hands (and I stopped to take a few pics) we talked about the crisis happening all around us right now, and as we talked we both felt all of our anxieties and worries lifting off of our shoulders. In this quiet world, where the future is unknown and all of our lives have been upended we decided this is the perfect time for us to press the reset button. I think God is giving us an opportunity to slow down, to look up and finally see what we have. I don’t know about you but I feel like this could be a time of great blessings. We are going to let this time, this worldly pause, reveal to us how we can be better, how we can do better and I hope our new normal will look nothing like the old one. Take it two ways, this time can either cause you stress and panic or it can be a time of paving a new road into a much needed change.
Jesus, You are Everything.
You are everywhere.
In me and outside of me.
In the best of times and in the hardest of times.
The only one that has never left me, yet I didn’t notice you until I really looked.
It’s impossible to see those things you don’t believe in.
They can be right there, yet remain invisible until you call them out.
Jesus, I see you now.
My heart is filled with your love, my lungs full with your breath.
I am not only living but truly alive now that I have found you.
You have awaken the best parts of me and made me want to become better, more like you.
I long to fearlessly pursue my purpose, hand in hand with you.
I want my every day to be spent walking closer towards you until one day,
when my time here is over,
I find myself standing face to face with you and you’ll be exactly as I pictured.
Beautiful, full of grace and love and understanding.
I will rush into your open arms and finally I will be home.
Right where I always belonged.
Give yourself room to grow today.
Listen for that voice, the slight whisper, that you often ignore. It’s your intuition, your spirit, guiding you.
Watch for signs that light the way and confirm you are heading in the right direction. Some coincidences are hints that you are on the right path, ready for a breakthrough. Pay attention to them.
Be brave enough to make mistakes by trying, yet be humble enough to admit when you are wrong.
Count your blessings and name them if you need reminding. Oftentimes we get so busy searching for ‘things’ we forget what we already have.
Be okay in the not knowing and hold tight to patience. God is working things out for you. It just may not be in the time you expected.
Don’t go looking for happiness in possessions or other people. Authentic happiness can only be found inside of you. It’s always there and it’s always free. Searching for it elsewhere will only lead to discontentment.
Put your phone down for a while and look up and around. Take in the sky, the clouds, the birds, the treetops. Take in life, you will never find peace if you are always connected.
Take a moment to kneel. Thank God that you woke up today. That you still have chances and opportunities. That you have another day to be because tomorrow could arrive but there is no promise that you will see it.
Live with reckless abandon.
It will all go by too fast and you only get this one shot.
The Alarm Clock
I used to wake up every morning to the alarm on my iPhone and glimpse through my alerts, which then instantly took me to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Sitting in my warm, just slept in bed, before my feet had even hit the floor, there I was scrolling online, immeshed in other people’s lives and already comparing my own. One friend woke early to fix all four of her children a made from scratch pancake breakfast complete with homemade orange juice. Another friend was celebrating an anniversary and spoke about how amazing her husband was above a picture of the two dozen roses he had given her along with a beautiful, gold heart necklace, it’s diamonds glistening back at me. Feeling less than, before my day had even began, I would crawl out of bed, by now feeling defeated. Should I have gotten up earlier and slaved away in the kitchen making homemade pancakes and orange juice too? Was she a better mom than I was? My husband had never gotten me two dozen roses before. Was my marriage even solid? These are the thoughts that played through my mind while I sauntered downstairs to pour myself some coffee and pour a bowl of cereal for my own hungry child.
Galatians 6:4-5 tells us “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.” Spoken truth right there. Afterall, God made us each different from one another, so how can we compare ourselves to anyone else. We have our own set of blessings, talents, gifts and circumstances. When we stop seeing the things we have been given in our own lives and look instead with envy to what others have, we impair our spirit and our soul. We are not being who God made us to be.
I decided to part ways with my phone (not completely of course) and dragged out my husbands old alarm clock from the 1990’s. I plugged it in, placed it on my nightstand and watched as my kids stared in awe at this dinosaur from long ago. (they asked me if it was from the 1970’s). I set the dial to a christian radio station so that the first thing I heard upon waking was joyful music. I wanted to free myself from the pull of my phone first thing in the morning, where comparison lurked. I wanted to wake up to a new day full of hope and a lot less despair. I wanted to take a breath and be present before I dove into the online world of perfection and comparison. I wanted to stop feeling robbed and instead feel poured into. That old alarm clock did the trick, innocently singing out to me that it was time to wake up and start my day. Nothing else.
As I’ve been waking up without my phone, I’ve found that I also have been using it less throughout the day. Where I would constantly be checking it from morning until night, I now guilelessly seek it out only a few times a day. In doing so I have, in a sense, seperated myself from one world and immersed myself in another. One that is more real and even a little messy at times. I feel so much nearer to God than I ever have.
I start my day with an old alarm clock, a cup of coffee and His word. No distractions, no outside noise, only stillness. He reminds me each morning that I am enough. I don’t need to look for validation online. I don’t need to cook homemade pancakes or be given two dozen roses to know that I am loved. The stolen kisses from my husband and how he gets the coffee ready for me to brew each morning, the big bear hugs from my kids and the excitement on their faces when they see me as they step off the bus and everything else in between is enough. (Even bowls of cereal). I am enough. My life is immeasurably enough.
You are enough to friend.
You are enough every single day.
You are enough even when the world says you aren’t.
God says you are enough and His is the only opinion that genuinely matters.
When you choose to walk away from distractions and put your phone down, you see what matters, you see what is real.
When you stop envying what others have and wishing that it was yours, you find contentment and peace.
When you stop wasting your time eyeing other people’s lives, you start finding the beauty in your own.
Know deep within you’re being that you are absolutely, unequivocally enough.
Keep in mind the words above from Galatians, write them down and place them somewhere you will see them each time comparison sneaks up on you and tries to steal your joy. Remind yourself of who you are and how unique you were made to be, and if it helps, do like I did,
get an alarm clock.
I have started to press pause in the early morning hours.
I wake up to see my two older boys off to school, then while my little one sleeps and the house is immaculately quiet, I press pause on my day and I meet with God.
While sipping my mug of caramel colored coffee these are the defining moments that lay the foundation for my day.
When we start off preceding any other obligations we have, with God, we free up space within our soul to be able to do more.
By giving our worries, concerns, frustrations and anxieties to Him we make room for what is important.
By letting go of what is holding us down, we rise.
Pressing pause gives me a moment to breathe, to step away from the pressures of everyday life.
Pressing pause lets me reflect on who I am and who God made me to be.
In pressing pause I become more.
It’s refreshing to spend these silent moments alone with Him, just being.
No masks, no pretending, no falsehoods….it’s just me being raw and real.
In the early morning hours, before the budding of a new day begins, I meet with God.
I press pause before I press play.
I give myself over to God wholeheartedly and for the rest of my day, I can feel Him, right by my side, carrying me through.
Give yourself a moment.
Watch how everything changes.