Saturday, April 19, 2014

on living the life you want to live


Y'all, I absolutely love to travel. I wish I could go somewhere new every month. Traveling to a new place is exciting for me, because I love to see how other people live and take in unfamiliar sites, begging them to find a place in my memory for later. I believe that everyone who can should travel out of the country at least once in their lifetime, and if at all possible, should live in a place unfamiliar to them. The wealth of customs and traditions found in other places that pushes us comfort-seeking Americans out of our comfort zones can be a blessing in disguise.

The Lord speaks to me through repetition and patterns. For instance, when I was preparing to move back to the States back in 2011-2012, He continually brought Isaiah 43:18-19 before me, making it clear that He was going to do something new in me and through me in the next season. The past few months, I have been bombarded through books, blogs, and movies with one idea--the life I have is fragile and must be lived with intention. No matter where I am. 

Each of us wants a life that matters. We want to know that what we do while we are here counts towards something beyond ourselves. My purpose is to give God glory in all that I do. I am a daughter, sister, friend, teacher, and mentor. These roles cannot be taken lightly. And so I seek to fulfill these roles with intention. My temptation is to run away from situations when they become too difficult. I like to think I'm strong, but the truth is, I am so, so weak. And emotional. And dramatic. There have been seasons for me in which I wanted so badly to just quit. I wanted to run away from the hard parts of the place God had me. I came to believe that I must leave the place I was in order to find what I was looking for. That's not always the answer, though. I can find joy in the everyday of where I am. Right now.

A few months ago, I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It came into theaters Christmas Day, but being the cheapskate I am, I waited until it was at the dollar $2.50 theater. Obviously. The film tells the story of an average man, Walter, who notoriously daydreams and zones out through normal activity, wishing he lived a different life. Being a dreamer and idealist, this story deeply resonated with me. When Walter realizes just how unsatisfied he is with his current life state, he takes a leap of faith and decides to do something about it. His epic adventures completely change who he is and shift the trajectory of his life.

All of us want adventure and a life well lived. The question is whether we are willing to do the hard work of getting there. Living the life we imagine for ourselves often is a matter of intention, not time or money. Sitting down to evaluate our choices about how we spend our time and what matters the most to us can inform us and show us where our priorities lie. In this social-media infested age, we can so easily fall into the comparison trap. 

OMG they're on another vacation? In Europe?! I hate my life.

Does she seriously love her job that much? She gets paid to do that?

These thoughts can overpower us and send us into a downward spiral if we aren't careful. But we always have another choice. The better portion- to sit at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to show us how to love the life we have right here and right now. And if there's something we just don't like about the life we have, let us have the boldness to ask for the courage to change it. He who called us is faithful, and He will surely do it. 

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