Are You LIVING Your Life?

As I pulled into the parking lot for the dreaded Wal-Mart shopping excursion, I knew it was going to take awhile. I had to buy ingredients for our PASCO dinner for the men and women tomorrow night plus I needed a few things of my own. I wished, not for the first time, that I still had kids living at home to help!

I realized that I could be that help for someone else. Just a couple more hands to load bags for someone. They’d leave a little faster and maybe with a smile.

The first lady I passed was on her phone. I watched for a minute to see if she would hang up but she didn’t so I moved on. Another lady on her phone. A man. A mom pushing two kids. A young couple. Not one person walked to their car without talking or texting on their phone.

I ended up going in the store without helping anyone.

I greeted the greeter and she seemed pleasantly surprised. Do people not usually greet the greeter? Are they on their phones?

I use my phone constantly. I can’t cast stones here. But today I had to face the reality of living in a society where we talk about our lives more than we LIVE them.

We Instagram our meals instead of savoring them. We post our thoughts instead of musing on them. We text instead of conversing.

We’ve created worlds where you are the center of your own design. Reality becomes relative and you can ignore or accept everything around you.

Technology is great and we learn so much. But what are we NOT learning?

How to resolve conflicts? To have patience? To live each moment to the fullest?

I noticed everyone in the store. I saw the overwhelmed mother, the supplier who probably didn’t expect to be working at this stage in life, the young stocker who was on his first job. I saw fellow women, older gentlemen, young families.

I talked to every one of them. I wanted to be present in their lives and I wanted them to be present in mine. I wanted to LIVE.

As my turn neared at the conveyor belt, an older man came up behind me with just a few things in his cart.

“Come on, you can go before me,” I said. I’d heard my phone dinging the entire time I was shopping and figured it was time to check it. I pulled it out as he moved in front of me.

“Thanks,” he replied. Pointing to my phone he continued, “It’s hard to get away from that thing, isn’t it?”

My self-righteousness flew out the window.

I put it away until I made it home.

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Challenge yourself to live fully. Put the phone away for a day, limit social media for a week, turn off tv and play board games for an evening…you decide! Pray about what keeps you from living fully and take steps to make a change. Be present in the lives of those around you!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s YOUR #hashtag?

Imagine you walked around with a #hashtag over your head at all times. What would it read?       #depressed? #tired? #angry?

Or are you someone who brightens a room when you walk in? #joy #childlikewonder

I was once the person people avoided. I was going to have a laundry list of problems and I was going to talk about them in detail to anyone who would listen.

And people stopped listening. I couldn’t blame them; even I didn’t want to hear me.

I basically walked around with #stayaway over my head.

Then I met Jesus. And #joy took over.

But guess what? It wasn’t affixed with some magical Galaxy Glue. It was more like double-sided tape and I’d forget to put my side up sometimes.

So even as a Christian, a born-again believer who’d been set free, I once again wore  #lifestinks as a slap-in-God’s-face testimony.

But that’s okay. Because I didn’t STAY there.

Let’s face it: life isn’t going to be all sunshine and roses. There are going to be times when we cloud our witness. Thankfully we have a merciful and forgiving Father who loves us and just wants to see us return to #blessed and #free.

What are you wearing today?  #scared?   #confused?  #hopeful?

Whatever it is, there’s a verse for it. And that verse points UP. Trust Him. In EVERYTHING.

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Invisible Ink

With grandparents in Baton Rouge and in Kansas, we traveled frequently from my hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana to visit them. My dad taught us the A-Z Road Sign game and Twenty Questions while Mom would load my sister and me down with travel games like Car Bingo and Invisible Ink books.

I loved those books!

All it took was a swipe of that magic pen with the orange cap to illuminate the answers to such games as Fleet, Hangman, and Bingo.

I saw one in the gift shop at Cracker Barrel the other day and started thinking about how we sometimes feel invisible. We feel unloved, unnoticed, or unappreciated by the world, or worse, by those around us. We wonder if there’s any real purpose for our lives.

THERE IS!

In fact, the Lord plainly tells us that He has a plan for each of us. (Jeremiah 29:11) He also tells us that He knows us so well that even the hairs on our head are numbered. (Luke 12:7) We aren’t invisible to the Lord.

If we have the light of Christ in us, we will not be invisible to others because our light will so shine before men. (Matthew 5:16)

Are you shining before men or has your ink dried out?

We used to have to buy a new book before we’d done all the pages because those pens would always dry out first. I’m sure it was a design flaw because as I got older they started including two pens in each book. That didn’t stop me from blaming my little sister though. We always look for someone to blame.

Sometimes it’s no-one’s fault. Sometimes it’s our own.

But at NO TIME does it matter. If we’ve allowed our ink to dry out or our light to be snuffed out, then we just have to call on Him to restore.

No new book is needed. No blame either. Just us…and Him. He IS our magic invisible ink pen.

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