My focus word for 2015 has been gratitude. At the moment, I am grateful for those of you who remain subscribers on my blog even though I am really bad about posting on a regular basis. I’ve got a book review I’ve been wanting to post, but I felt like I needed to write a personal post before adding another “book break,” as there hasn’t been much real content on my blog to break from lately. The good news is — I have been too busy to write. Well, I guess that’s also the bad news. I know it is important to slow down to allow ourselves time for the things that we enjoy and that make our lives meaningful. I also recognize that I need to be more purposeful about how I spend the hours in my days. Perhaps you are noticing the same thing in your life?
Here are some words from others that I found inspiring:
“If you itemize your activities and their time consumption over the course of a week, you might be surprised at the dominating events. Each moment is a gift, so set aside a few minutes each evening to plan. Then revisit the way you spent the last 24 hours. This will help you to live purposefully.” (In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley)
“When we slow down, we give ourselves time and space to really think about things, to be present, to embrace what’s happening right in front of us, as opposed to flitting from task to task, never quite spending time in the now. …
If we waited until the house was immaculately tidy and work was quiet and the kids were perfectly settled and we had no stresses, then we would still be waiting for permission from life to slow down.
It doesn’t happen like that. Life is messy and layered and there are always things going on. It requires constant tilting.
… It’s amazing what comes to the surface when we slow down and stop cramming stuff in to life. …
We think clearly. We pay attention to the moment. We learn things. We come away feeling rested and rejuvenated and at peace, because we’ve spent time living in the now.” Brooke McAlary (Slow Your Home: The Simpler Life You Want)
Thinking about the now, here are a few things I am grateful for today:
I am grateful for my husband, who still works hard and plows ahead, despite some setbacks he experienced in his career this past year. I am proud of him and his determination to find and forge his next path with the company he has worked at/with for over seven years.
I am also grateful that I can continue to work from home, and that he supports that choice, even if the alternative (9 to 5 in an office) might put us in a better position financially.
I am grateful for my sister Gabrielle, whose company finds and provides the source of my current work. [And I’m quite certain she is equally grateful to have one of the best editors around working with/for her. 😉 ]
Although, it is perfectly normal to worry a little bit about the days ahead, since I can’t see what the upcoming months will bring in terms of projects, income, health issues, etc., I also recognize that worrying about the future only takes away today’s joy.
However, as I reminded one of my other sisters recently, it is okay to feel what we feel and to acknowledge it even when we are aware that some people have things harder or worse than we do. It’s good to have perspective, but we don’t have to pretend that we aren’t hurting or frustrated or worried or confused. We should acknowledge it, maybe even give ourselves a moment to wallow in it, “then take a breath, push the bad thoughts away, and move on.”
As Lysa Terkeurst shares: “Be joyful: Intentionally look around for measures of joy each day. There is joy in simply being alive and in being redeemed by God. Remember, joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances. It’s good to look for the good, to celebrate it even in small ways. Doing so is a moment of victory!”
So, grab hold of today. Slow down, and pay attention to the moment. Recognize any negative thoughts and/or feelings that might be stealing your joy. Then tuck them away, and reach for the things that give meaning and purpose to your life. Write today’s story with an open and grateful heart!