I think some people live this life without truly living this life. I think they get used to the day to day and get nice and cozy in their comfort zone. That could be settled into a mundane job or being confined to live in one place all your life, never trying anything new or taking a chance at something your heart longs for. They are staying in that safe place. Don’t get me wrong, safe feels good sometimes but I don’t think you truly are living in that place, you are just existing there.
Then there are those that relish in the feeling of stepping into the unknown or dare I say the scary places. I think that is where you truly start to come alive. In doing the very things that scare the crap out of you or doing something brand new that you have never been brave enough to do before. The feelings that come with that, heart racing, excitement, fear, adrenaline rushing, maybe even a little trembling but in those moments, it is when you truly feel alive. You can breathe afterwards, you can look back and think about how good that felt, how much of a challenge it was to go there but all you had to do was step out in faith and out of your comfort zone.
I remember being scared to speak in front of large audiences, the thought truly made me sick. Then the time came that I had the choice to be scared or to be bold. I can’t even describe to you the feelings I had during that time. I decided to focus on what needed to be done instead of how I felt about what I was going to be doing. I made it through, while on stage I felt focused and exhilarated. Yes, I was scared but I walked through the fear anyway. And as I was leaving that day I felt something I never even knew I was missing, I felt truly alive, as if I was walking on air. I had stepped out of my comfort zone and lived to tell about it!
The unknown may be something completely different for you than it is for me. Think about what it is that your heart longs for, what dreams are you dreaming? Is fear holding you back? Then take the first step towards whatever that is and with each step that you take you will truly start to feel more alive. With each step, the fear will start to fade away and you will step into your place of truly living.
When I left the office for lunch today, it was so hot outside. My heat in my car was actually stifling when I first got into it. My first thought was, yep this is part of that “hot” summer that everyone has been talking about that is coming this year. I got the AC going and then everything was good and I could enjoy the sunshine.
As I was getting ready to leave work this afternoon it was a whole different story. A storm had come through and it was dark and gray outside. The rain was coming down so hard it sounded like it was pounding against the roof of our three-story office building. The thought of running to my car in the rain and then driving in this storm was frightening. I checked the weather report and even more rain was coming so I knew it was not going to get much better. Umbrella in hand, I made a dash for my car. Once there the rain seemed to get slightly better and I was able to make it safely home, slower than usual but safely.
This made me think about life and the sharp contrasts we have from one moment to the other. There are times of joy and happiness when you forget that anything bad could happen. Then there are the “downpours” when you feel overwhelmed and forget what joy feels like. You wonder how you will make it through.
The common factor in both is that God is with us throughout each of those times, the good and the difficult times. His word says that He is our strength and our refuge. So, there will certainly be some downpours but we will make it through the rain.
What is the point of worrying? Is there every really one? As the saying goes, worrying today is like borrowing trouble from tomorrow. It doesn’t really get us anywhere, it really only takes joy away from the present moment. The practice of worrying won’t get us the result that we want, in fact it could be quite the opposite. After all they say “what you think about, you bring about”.
Let’s not forget that the Bible says, “Be strong; fear not””. Worrying too much can show a lack of faith which we don’t want. If our faith is strong we will have confidence that God is in control always and will see us through any trials we may have in this life. Hold fast to this and find comfort in knowing that.
One definition of worry is: to use your imagination to create circumstances you do not want. So why would we want to waste time doing that? We won’t gain anything good from worrying about something that we don’t want. Worry has no place in our life, we should cast our cares upon the Lord and know that he is in control. And then let go, whatever happens he will see you through, the good and the bad. Worrying won’t change the outcome. Not to mention the effect that worry has on your health. It can cause stress on your body which can then have a negative effect on your health and mental well-being. There are even some diseases that can be brought on by too much worrying, anxiety and stress. That is not God’s best for your life. So today let’s choose to let worry go and to let God’s promises sink in and trust in Him in our times of trouble and contemplation.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”.
How many times have you fallen? If you are like me, it might be quite a lot and for multiple different reasons in multiple difference places. Let’s get real, we all fall down at some point. We all fall short of our dreams or goal sometimes; we all make mistakes. And some of us make those same mistakes over and over again as if we are practicing for perfection in falling!
But you know what, that is ok. Because God’s mercy and grace are plentiful. They are renewed each day so you can feel confident that although you may have fallen he won’t let you stay down. The most important thing to remember about falling is simply “getting back up again”. No matter how many times we fall, we have to pick ourselves up and move forward on our path.
And when I am embarking on a new journey or starting some new adventure that I am not sure about I already feel comfortable knowing that if it does not work out and I fall down yet again that I will get right back up even better the next time. I refuse to stay down for long and you don’t have to either. By getting back up again each time we are building strength and wisdom. We are learning (sometimes the hard way) what works and what does not work for us. It is catapulting us to our destiny. Don’t let pride convince you that you are not allowed to fall down. Have the wisdom to build off of those failures by “getting back up again”.
I told myself when I turned 43 this past August that the upcoming year would be the year I started focusing more on myself and my well-being. Not that I will be neglecting my family or other obligations but at some point if you don’t take care of yourself you can no longer continue to take care of others, right? I had long ago stopped caring for myself in the best way possible, always putting myself on the back burner as most moms can relate to and allowing stress to take its toll.
But I made a promise myself to no longer do that as I dive into finding out what makes me happy and healthier. I am focusing on real change within my life, positive changes. And as I am doing this I am also modeling to my kids a good example of what it means to take care of yourself and hopefully I can be a motivation for others as well. I think new habits are hard to instill but the saying is true, if you do something for a few weeks it then becomes habit. I have done this with my eating habits and now it is like second nature to pick better, healthier choices.
I have also done this with exercise, I have come to enjoy my morning or evening walks. I now take the time to enjoy nature and soak in my environment. I am blessed to have some really nice walking trails where I live and along with those come some pretty amazing sunsets. Gosh if I think back to how many sunsets I missed out on before! I don’t think of exercise as punishment any longer, it is a gift I am giving myself because it will keep me healthy longer and it makes me feel stronger and more alive.
I am learning to enjoy reading and writing again as well. I had put those things of joy on the back burner for too long. I apologize to my followers for the long hiatus in between my posts. I let the craziness of life and busyness get in the way but you will be seeing much more from me in the future as I share my new journey with you to a better, happier and healthier me! I hope you come along for the ride!