Living YOUR Best Life

You see it on magazine covers and book jackets everywhere: How to Live Your BEST Life with the emphasis on BEST. It makes sense; after all, no one signed up for a mediocre, less-than-fulfilling life. You don’t say “I guess” in place of “I do” or flip that tassel over after four years of studying in a field you’re disinterested in.

But what if we shift the focus to YOUR? Living YOUR best life?

I’m not talking about living vicariously through your children or suppressing your needs to fulfill a spouse. (Though neither of those is healthy either!)

I’m talking about holding your life up to a mirror and seeing what God has for YOU.

It’s hard not to be influenced by (or a little envious of) the lives we see on television and in magazines. Kardashians who spend more on birthday parties than some families make in a decade. “Real” Housewives whose closets resemble small department stores. Chrisleys, Braxtons, Busbys…

Though I’m probably the only person who could be envious of a woman whose second pregnancy resulted in quintuplets!

There are celebrities who never have to clean, cook, or shop. That may sound like a dream to an overworked, over-stressed single mom. There are families of ten crowded into two-bedroom apartments who dream of living in one of the mega-mansions from the latest magazine spread.

But while we are envying, and wishing, and dreaming, we are missing out on what God has laid right in front of us.

The family. The friends. The opportunities.

After taking stock of YOUR life, without any comparisons to the Bravolebrities or even the neighbors, look at what you have to be grateful for.

And then look at what can be changed….

Not many friends? Look around in your community for shared interest groups. During this Covid crisis and quarantine, I’ve reconnected with so many wonderful friends I’d lost touch with. That was a true blessing in disguise.

Lost your job or stuck in a rut? Pray for wisdom and look for new opportunities.

God wants to bless you!

But you have to be ready to receive what He has for YOU and not spend your time comparing it to everyone else around you.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

 

 

Definition of Insanity?

In recovery programs, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The reference is usually made about addiction.

And it’s true. We think THIS time will be different. THIS time we can handle it.

It’s insane because it’s not true. And really, it’s just a trick of the devil to make us even consider otherwise.

But with addiction issues behind me, I thought this concept would go away. I solely related it to addiction and that was that.

The truth is, anything we do over and over expecting different results is insanity. Or as Phoebe Buffay would say, IT’S MADNESS!

And that’s where I’ve found myself this week. On the other end of pure madness wondering how on earth I let the same thing happen again.

This week has been incredible. I’ve had a song in my heart, peace in my soul, and a spring in my step. To me, this is normal. It’s what I expect out of my life.

It wasn’t until my husband started questioning it that I realized it had been gone for a little while. I’d say the devil stole it but the truth is, I just handed it to him on a silver platter.

I wrote last week about how I’d allowed my emotions to take center stage and destroy my happiness as well as putting a few dings in my relationships. I don’t think I realized the magnitude of what I’d lost even then.

It wasn’t until the peace and joy had been fully restored to my life that I realized it’d been gone.

And then I realized just how many times I keep coming to that exact same realization.

It’s like investing in a top-rated, high-tech security system for your home and then leaving your front door wide open when you leave.

Pure insanity.

Father, forgive me. And help me to guard the things that matter most- the peace and joy that come from You alone- so that I may live abundantly in Christ. Amen.

Gear Up: JOY

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on JOY!

We all have things that bring us joy in life, whether it’s a pet or a grandchild, a hobby or a friend. Whatever brings YOU joy, cherish it. Thank God each day for everything that brings you joy that day.

Are there many things that bring you joy daily? Excellent. Make sure to thank Him for each and every one.

Are there only a couple of things that bring you joy? Pray and ask the Lord to help heal your heart so that you may let more joy into your life.

Is there nothing that brings you joy? Talk to a loved one or a trusted friend or pastor. The Lord doesn’t want you to live a life devoid of joy. He delights in seeing US delighted!

Remember, sometimes things will happen that will cause temporary sorrow. But JOY always comes in the morning! (Psalm 30:5)