We all have regrets, mostly memories that haunt us because of being incomplete or unresolved or abruptly change or all of the above. There can be unforgiveness or the ever present wish that things had gone differently or you had known such and such at the time or what not. And these things (as I often over think things and reminisce in my ever-thinking, over-reaching, hyperactive brain) can bite you and consume way too much energy. What I have found to be helpful is a combination of reason, objective analysis, thought of both sides, acceptance, and forgiveness. A much more efficient plan, and I confess I just learned how to do this, is to go straight to acceptance that God is in control and in charge and knows best and then forgive myself for my part and/or the other party involved foe their part. And if you can see that clearly to do that right away, oh how clear the mind becomes and how much less cluttered the file cabinets of the mind. Truly, no amount of stewing or brewing or reining or regretting or remembering can change one iota of the present and quite conversely can hinder present energy and happiness. Just a thought.
Some really good things in life take time to develop. We have had an empty room, a closet with no shelving, a blank space really for some time (7 years), just being used to hold stuff, storage. Meanwhile, we have had no pantry, little storage space and an eyesore. Now is the time. Finally we have money available, a new shed to put things into that was in there, carpenter available, materials assembled, electric ready, baseboards removed, everything prepared. It all takes time. Masterpieces do not happen overnight. This pantry, when done will have a sink with running water, countertops shelving, like a mini kitchen with lots of storage. It will be beautiful! And I was thinking about it. People, including me, want things to happen immediately, instant gratification, with perfect results. Life is not like that. There are processes we need to go through. There is an order to things. And God knows the right timing for these things to stick when they get here. Were the pantry put together haphazardly, it would not have the best function for us. And in waiting for it, we realize exactly what we need, which is not what we had originally thought. So planning and time is beneficial for a great new pantry. And for many of the things in our lives personally. If we take our time and process the options before making decisions, maybe they also will be even better for everyone. As I age and mature and God blesses me with wisdom, it is making more sense to take my time and do things right. Amazing things come to those who wait. Like Heaven waits for us and comes in due time, a great pantry will be made and perfected in due time. Yay!!
When we do too much, we turn into Marthas, busy-bodies, doing the work diligently but not ever stopping to take time to sit at Jesus’ feet worshipping and conversing and learning. I quit Facebook and only Twitter about once a day for a few minutes. I disconnected from distractions and busy things that absorbed all my attention and time. Except doing dishes. I still waste my time on that. Lol But stopping unnecessary things and focusing on the main things and leaving extra time to just be and hang out with my family has made the world of difderence. We have opportunities to do things, talk about God, read the Bible together, hike in His creation, laugh, learn, observe, just be. Our bonding time has been so beneficial and I see the difference in all of us. Being too busy is not good, even if it looks like the things we are doing are very good things. God first and family next. Everyone else has to wait in line for their appointment. 🙂 This simplicity is important to me and as such I am guarding fervently. It is important to refuel and bond and grow together with God. Nothing is more important than this.
Lazy has never been an option for me. Trust me, I may have wanted to be lazy sometimes, but also trust that I was never allowed to follow down that road. And truly, internal drive and unprecidented energy levels always have prevented it. I got pretty close in my recent deep grieving recently but am snapping out of it now and getting back to work. The thing is, lazy is hideous and unacceptable to me. Lazy in movement, lazy in self discipline, lazy in thinking, lazy in worship, all of it is detestable. Why do I feel so strongly about it? Because of my late Daddy who instilled within me from an early age that laziness is a disrespectful waste of what God has given us to do and is aw definitive lack of stewardship (a word rarely spoken now but should be taught everywhere) of the gifts from God. Whatever we do, we are doing for God not people, not even our often selfish selves. And we are awreccountable for what we do with what we are given. So fight it. Laziness is a bad habit and fighting it requires some energy put into starting a good habit to replace it. Start small, cleaning your room (are you listening, kids?). Clean out the car. Bake some cookies are nd take them to a friend, like me. Write a note of encouragement and mail or text it. Read your Bible. Pray. Call someone. Take a friend out for coffee, like me. Take a walk. Do something. So worth it!!!
When we are intentional and thoughtful and purposeful, it is much less likely we will screw up. Of course that is not always true as we are still humans and can be intentionally wrong. However, if we consult with God via prayer and Bible reading, before making major purposeful decisions, we are much more likely to do the right thing or at least not have a lot of cleanup and apologies after. There is a disparity between the concept of intentionality and immediate gratification, the far more popular and obviously more utilized choice, but I think that disparity is a good thing. I believe if people were purposeful and intentional and moral or Godly, the world and our own families and communities would be far more superior, positive and lovely places. This starts as simply as thinking first before speaking or doing. Sure it takes longer but I think that is also a good thing. It is a good goal to become more intentional and moral. And indeed may help with the whole unity and love thing everywhere.
So, I decided this post-mourning body needed to get back in shape again (figure eight and not round), so I have been doing non-weight lifting calisthetics every or every other day. I have a great friend who is a personal trainer that said that would be the way to go for me and eat healthier and a little less bit mostly healthier. I also do a half hour swimming, walking or roller blading twice a week. And I have been for 2 weeks now and feel better as a whole, my clothes are comfortable again and not feeling snug. The scale has only come down a couple of pounds but I feel lighter already and tone. It amazes me how God designed us to respond so well to movement and working our bodies, even after months of neglect we can start back and improve so quickly. My mood has improved also and I am less tired and feeling more like myself. So there you have it. To fight a lot of mood related issues, exercise. Even free calisthetics in your home 30 minutes a day or every other day works wonders! We all can serve God, our families and others so much better when we are in our best health. We were made to move. And when I get to full energy restoration, lookout, world. 🙂
So, here we have 2017. It is January 1, 2017. I am 42 for a couple of months more and ho estly, I never thought I would still be alive at this age when I was younger. Lol But as it stands for today at least, I am still here as we all are. 🙂 So, having that in common, I am happy to share also with you my interest (as you also probably hold also) in making this year much better than last year, which had great moments but largely sucked. So here we are. I am happy to report that my day today was infinitely better than many days last year. We brought in the year singing and playing keys and dancing with our band family and a few hundred friends following our lead in celebration. We sang the songs, danced the danced and had a ball. Literally, it was a very fun ball. 🙂 And today, we took a week off of the band at church as they hired a substitute band so we could catch a break, so we slept in longer than we have in a while and went to IHOP for brunch and lazed about the rest of the day, planning the year, planning house projects (sexy huh? but for us is a good time) and changed the air conditioner filters. In between, I hung out and prayed and napped on the bistro porch swing for a couple hours (my favorite room of the house lol). Why am I telling you all this? Because today is a day of hope, a moment of renewal. I intend to stop pining about what was lost, despite its magnitude, and forge on with hope and fun and promise and sometimes those days that seem lazy really are all those things and the reason we are where we are and have greater meaning because of the incredible things we went through to get here. I am choosing, in other words, to put the past in the behind and use the power of what was lost to increase the value and preciousness of what remains. I invite you to do the same. It is a brand new day, a brand new year, and each and every one from here on out is a new opportunity to pour your energy into the right now and plan a little ahead if you’d like. Make it an adventure, make it an opportunity, make it dang fun. Accept no opposition. Accept no distraction and interference. Do at least one act of service for God every day, encourage someone at least once a day, love yourself, pray every day, work up a sweat every day, enjoy some moment of pleasure every day, live life fully. What an amazing time to be alive. We positive followers of God shine like lights! Shine yours so brightly people have to wear sunglasses! Live on, baby! Rock on!!!! XO