Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One more day ...

How much of life is spent planning for some future event?  Something you are looking forward to?  Or perhaps something that you are sad to see approaching?  Something that frightens you as you face the unknown?  Or a special delight you anticipate?  I know that I can relate to all of those things.  Sometimes several of them at once.

The thing is, that when I do that, I sometimes fail to live in the present.  To take time to listen and really be with the people that I'm with each day.  To see the gifts all around me.  To take joy in today.

I love being with my family.  When someone is missing, I really feel it.  Instead of being sad though for the one(s) who are missing, I need to make a choice to enjoy the ones that are here.  We spent a week at the beach in June with my family.  Its been our tradition for some years to have a week together in the summer.  This year though, for the first time, we weren't all together.  Can you spot who is missing on the sofa?  Christopher.  Also my Dad was not there and my mom and sister each were there for half of the week.
 Seasons change and while I sometimes wish things didn't move so swiftly, they do.  This past year has been filled with some huge changes in my family.

 It can leave me feeling stuck.  (I'm not sure why my boys like being buried like this!)
 Instead of just enjoying the view of where I am.  Loving on the people that are with me.  And while I will still miss those not there, its a good reminder to keep them in prayer as they often come to my mind.
 I learn so much about being present and choosing joy from this little one.  (She can also teach lessons on being stubborn lest anyone think she is a complete angel.  LOL)
 And yet, despite knowing these things, I can still find myself feeling buried by my to do lists.  Anyone else feeling that this time of year?
 When my list seems overwhelming, it is usually because my focus has been shifted.  Instead of looking at the sea of problems or things to do, I need to look at the One who is in control of all things.
I sometimes too need a reminder that the little things of my present life are not big in comparison to God.  And that even the BIG things are not too much for Him.

 So, I know all of these things, but I still have a to do list that is a mile long.  What do I do with that?  There are probably some things that can just be cut.  Or delegated to someone else.  I'm thankful to have family and friends that have often come beside me to help carry the load.
I'm not sure I realized when I was younger that life that I would continue to learn so much when I got older.  That learning didn't stop when I finished school, but that even bigger life lessons lay ahead of me.  And honestly, the lessons that I'm learning now look different because of my experiences and life thus far.  I'm thankful to keep learning, though I wish I didn't have to repeat some of the same lessons.  Can anyone relate to that one?

 So what are some of the lessons that I'm learning.

 Don't get stuck in one place.  If something isn't working, don't be afraid to change.

 Chase your dreams - especially if they are ones that  God has placed in your heart.

Be still.  Relax.  Take time to listen and leave margin in your days.  An uncrowded day leaves room to do those things that crop up that may be on God's agenda and not mine.

Work together.  The load really is lighter when shared.

 Have fun.
 Delight in the treasures of the day.  (The girls found this live sea anemone!)

 And this tiny starfish.  Also alive!

Isaiah also found an amazing jellyfish that I didn't get a picture of, but it looked like this.  (I didn't have my camera.)  The lifeguard told Isaiah that it was a dangerous kind.  It was not one we had seen before.  I looked it up when we went inside.

Portuguese Man of War

 Help someone who needs a friend.

 On a practical side - get enough sleep.  I've not been doing well with this as I stay up late to watch the Olympics each night.  Just a few more days of that though.

Retreat when needed.  Its alright to take time off from things and to schedule down time.

 Alway so much to learn.  I think that the more I live, the more that I realize that there is such much more to learn that I will never even come close.  I do want to live my life with joy, with delight and with as few regrets as possible.

At the end of the day, having regrets does me no good.  It just serves to pull me down and make me doubt.  Its not that I don't have any regrets.  I do.  Don't we all?  

Live in the moment.  Enjoy all that today has to offer.  I'm not saying not to look forward to things, but just that the anticipation of the future should not make you miss the joys that the present day holds.

I'm thankful for so many things.  I am working on learning to give thanks.  Give thanks during trials.  Give thanks for all that has been given to me.  Give thanks.  God is good and worthy of my praise.

And what started me thinking on this was the whole idea of ... one more day.  I am enjoying this day and also looking forward to tomorrow.  In just one day, I'll have my whole family again under one roof.  I am so excited to see Christopher!!!  Its been a long time to be apart and while we won't have many days together before he heads back to school, we will have some.  And for this, I am thankful!

With a grateful heart,