So you’re probably thinking that this will help you get rich,
Sorry to break it to you,
But money ain’t everything,
Actually it’s far from it.
And some of you may laugh at that,
Thinking that it is,
But I think there’s something more out there that can make us feel rich even if we have nothing to our name,
Something that can bring smiles to our faces in the midst of heart break and challenges,
Something that can allow our days to be brighter even if it’s storming.
But money ain’t that.
The truth is,
That there is more to life than the here an now,
That we can live with a hope that the God of all creation sees you and knows you by name,
That just as you are, you are loved,
And that you don’t need all that the world tells you, you need in order to find meaning, fulfillment or love.
Having all the money in the world means little when you have nothing inside.
That may be corny,
But that’s how it goes.
There is something to being rich in love,
That gives life a greater depth.
That allows us to be content no matter our circumstances,
Because our security isn’t resting in our bank account but rather in a God who is everlasting.
So let me start,
And whether you’re not sure how you feel about all this,
Stick with me,
At least for a couple steps,
And maybe you’ll get at least something here (and it’s even free!).
If I’ve learned anything in the past couple years,
It’s that life isn’t so much about what you have but what you do with what you’ve been given.
For life is full of moments,
Ones we’re prepared for but most for ones we aren’t,
And it’s not so much what we have to hold onto that allows us to get through them,
But where we’re rooted when the storms come.
For there’s something about going through a challenging season that we all try to avoid.
We feel that something isn’t right if something feels uncomfortable,
If we feel as though everything that could go wrong is going wrong.
But as a friend of mine told me,
“Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not ok.”
And that gave me perspective.
The funny thing about perspective is that it only enables us to see as far as we’re willing too.
Because lets face it,
Life is full of ups and downs,
Full of hard moments and moments that take your breath away,
Full of heartbreak but also sweet joyous triumphs,
And no matter how hard we try to avoid the not so good ones,
They come anyways,
Regardless of how put together you try to keep yourself.
We all seek someone to just tell us something that will make it better.
Someone that will make all our problems disappear with a snap of a finger ,
Who will make it easy for us,
But the truth is,
It’s up to us.
It’s up to us to take advice,
To work through our problems,
To cling to the Lord and reach out to good friends for support.
Because let’s face it,
It’s a lot of work to get through challenges with your head still above the water.
It’s not always easy to see the good when all you would rather see is how much it hurts,
It’s way easier to put the blame on them than to own up to your own stuff and work on it.
And it takes a lot of courage to fight to find the beauty then wallowing in self pitty,
In ‘what if’s’
In ‘Should have been’s’
In it not ‘being fair’.
I’ve learned a few things from going through a season of a lot of change,
and some days, painful growth.
One I’m still going through,
And fighting to not remain where I am in life,
But to allow myself to be refined, challenged and grow.
For I think something that fuels me,
Is what I want my time to be full of,
What I want my days to show from my life,
And when it gets to the end of my days,
How I want to stand before the King.
For no matter what season we are facing,
Our days can end at anytime,
And with knowing that,
I don’t want to leave any days not lived,
Knowing that all along,
I had the choice in how they were spent.
1.) Always Keep Perspective
When we’re going through something hard, naturally we want to run.
It’s hard to remain in the heat,
Seeing all of our mistakes,
Or being somewhere we didn’t even want to be in the first place.
Whatever else it may be for you,
Keep your eyes on whats ahead.
Perspective isn’t easy to have when all we see are the walls before us,
But keep going,
The best things in life aren’t in the quick fixes,
They come through being faithful with the little you have and continuing to push through,
When you would rather give up.
But don’t give up.
Keep your eyes fixed on the purpose;
To live wholeheartedly,
To love others deeply,
And above all else,
Are you ready for this?
That it’s not always all about you.
Did you get that?
Life isn’t just about you getting what you want,
You being successful,
Or you always being ‘happy’,
Most of the time life is about the bigger picture,
And by looking to the Lord rather than ourselves,
It helps us live a life always with perspective,
With our eyes set on Eternity.
So next time you’re going through something,
“How can you walk through this with eternity in mind?”
“In light of eternity, what really matters? Does this really matter?”
2.) Your Attitude Needs To Change
“We have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how we react to it. Our attitude is everything. I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position.”
-Charles R. Swindoll
For the most part,
We can’t always just change our circumstances,
Or make what we’re going through just disappear.
We may even try to find other ways to cope with all that we’re feeling,
Find ways to numb or distract us,
But the greatest (yet sometimes most challenging) we can do,
Is change our attitude.
We can’t expect someone else just to come, sweep in and take away our problems,
Or even make us happy.
It’s all a choice,
Just like putting on clothes,
Or brushing your teeth,
The same goes with your attitude.
You choose how you’ll go through what comes your way.
Whether you’ll fight to see the good even when it’s hard,
Or whether you’ll allow your heart to get bitter,
It’s up to you.
It’s up to you whether you’ll sing praises even when locked up in jail,
Or whether you’ll allow anger and hurt bring you further away from the Lords goodness.
Attitude is hard to choose sometimes,
I get that,
But our life ultimately comes down to us and what we choose to make out of it.
It won’t always be pretty but we can choose to see the beautiful even in the midst of pain.
We can still question the Lord,
Wrestle with the hard things,
But it’s whether we’ll keep pressing into Him embrace or pull away.
3.) Busyness Is Not The Goal
Our culture has fed us a lot of lies if you haven’t realized it yet,
Telling us that we need to do this,
Be doing that,
Look like this,
To be accepted, loved and praised.
We’ve become lovers of self rather than lovers of the Lord.
Seeking to make ourselves better and known rather than His name.
And in that we’ve come to busy ourselves,
Burn ourselves out,
Thinking that the most holy people are the ones who have time for everyone but themselves (and even sometimes the Lord)
But busyness kills us,
It destroys our purpose,
Distracts us from our goals,
And takes away energy from what truly matters.
Busyness is a soil that remains dry and cracked,
Never replenishes but only takes more from those willing to give to it.
We need to be rooted in rest to flourish,
Rooted in the Lord and His truths rather than the words from society.
For His Word gives life,
They aren’t written to bind us to rules,
For we can already see that the way of society and the rules people place on themselves and each other,
And up taking life from us rather than empowering us to live in greater depth and with more life to offer.
For I have gotten trapped in the way of busyness for far too long,
And have realized the ways it has wrecked me,
The tiredness and weariness that I feel because I felt rest was for the weak,
Rather than seeing that being weak isn’t negative,
It’s actually a lovely term,
For it shows who I’m abiding in,
Who I fight to live for in a world that tries to bring us far from,
Who when I am weak, He is strong,
And rest allows me to flourish where busyness takes life from me.
4.) Give Yourself Grace
Another sweet friend of mine told me something that really switched a light on,
“So often we think the things we desire,
The things we love to do,
What we did as a child,
Isn’t actually good enough.”
How true is that?
We tend to think that the gifts we’ve been given aren’t enough,
When really they are the passions placed within us that we can set the world on fire with.
So may you start giving yourself the grace our Father has extended to you,
That sometimes mundane,
Are the most beautiful.
That it’s okay to be unknown,
That it’s okay to work at a simple job and raise a family,
Or it’s okay to be a lawyer at a high end firm,
All that matters is how you’re living and if what you’re doing is bringing God glory.
So give yourself grace,
We don’t need to be perfect,
Having our life all put together,
For our Father knows us,
He sees us as we are and still calls us to come worship and love Him,
But most of all to receive His love and grace,
Because if we’re being honest,
It’s a lot easier to talk about His love and grace rather than actually receiving it and living through that truth.
For it’s hard to believe that we’re loved even if we’re not running around busy like a chicken with it’s head cut off,
Or if we’re not always doing something twenty four hours, seven days a week.
It’s okay to rest,
It’s okay to eat ice cream at the park,
It’s okay to not look how others look,
It’s okay to not have a huge high paying job,
It’s okay to not fit into the mold of society,
It’s okay to just be you and do what you love,
It’s okay to take a breath and give yourself grace.
Secret: By giving yourself grace, I believe it’ll actually free you to live a wholehearted life without the pressures we place on ourselves that really tend to paralyze us rather than set us free. For when we’re holding ourselves up on such a high pedestal that we’ll really never be able to fully measure up to, when we don’t meet that, we are so hard on ourselves rather than seeing that we’re just humans. And it’s okay.
So give yourself grace, you’re doing the best you can with what you have.
Rather than being hard on yourself, empower yourself to keep working towards your goal
And as much as loving others and the Lord is important,
To love yourself along the way.
Life is more than just doing but in who you are.
“Grace has to be the loveliest word in the English language. It embodies almost every attractive quality we hope to find in others. Grace is a gift of the humble to the humiliated. Grace acknowledges the ugliness of sin by choosing to see beyond it. Grace accepts a person as someone worthy of kindness despite whatever grime or hard-shell casing keeps him or her separated from the rest of the world. Grace is a gift of tender mercy when it makes the least sense.”
-Charles R. Swindoll
5.) It’s A lot Of Work But Keep Going
When the going gets tough,
The tough get going.
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before,
And if we were being honest,
Life can be A LOT of work some days,
It can be hard to see the good in someone who has hurt you,
It can be hard to keep going when everything seems so heavy,
It can be hard to motivate yourself when you feel unloved or undervalued,
But press through,
Fight to see the beauty you hold,
Fight to see the gifting’s you have,
Fight to see the life you’re able to live because of the truth that can set you free,
That you are no longer seeking the worlds approval but can be set apart,
That you’re able to let go of all the things that are weighing you down and find rest,
That you no longer need to busy yourself to find purpose,
But that even in the most simplest of moments you are living a meaningful life because of who you’re found in, Jesus Christ.
You are able to live intentionally,
Loving those around you,
Because the true purpose in life isn’t getting what you want,
It’s laying yourself down,
Your own wants,
So that Jesus can be glorified and made known.
For the more I realize that my worry,
Come from forgetting why I’m doing what I’m doing.
That it’s not for approval,
That it’s not for success,
But rather to love people,
To make time for those I love,
For those in need,
For those who are walked by,
And to live intentionally rather than rushed.
To live stewarding even the little I’ve been given without throwing it away for more.
To see that beauty comes from a life yielded to the Lord rather than just seeking to make ourselves more.
So let me ask you this,
How will you choose to live your own precious life?
Will you fix your eyes on the prize, on what you’re living for in light of eternity?
Will you fight to see the good?
Will you live a life that impacts the world, not in being like it but being bold to go against it?
How will you live?
Will you live wholeheartedly?
Will you live extending yourself grace?
Will you live no longer distracting yourself but working through the hurts you feel?
Will you live helping push others towards their dreams?
Will you love others even when it’s not easy?
Because a richer life,
An abundant life,
Begins with us.
Us stepping out to choose to work on our attitudes,
The ways we hold ourselves back from truly living wholeheartedly,
Because we fear change rather than embracing it and choosing to repair the ways we keep ourselves from freedom.
And it won’t happen right away,
It may take a while but the process is always worth it.
So the final question is,
What will you do with the time you’ve been given?