It’s hard to use words capture the beauty of life. It’s a beauty I think I’m just starting to really grasp. A beauty we skim over the top of most days.
I’ve heard it said that it’s the little things that make up a life. It’s not a thought that’s really resonated with me, to be honest. Little things were never something I really loved to think about it. I wanted to do big things, to fulfill impossible dreams, to aim for the stars. I wanted a great life that would blow me away.
And then gradually I began to realize that big things are accomplished through a lot of little moments. I gave up my longing to do huge things and decided to be content with whatever He gave me. I was ok with not having some amazing life. I just wanted Jesus.
It was then that I realized that I already had an amazing life. It blows me away every day. Sure, not in the be-in-the-middle-of-africa-saving-orphans kind of way. I don’t live in a mud hut in the middle of a tribe who is starving and doesn’t know Jesus. I still think that would be neat. But that’s not my life and that’s ok.
Instead I live in the middle of nowhere in the hills or Arizona. I only have a few dozen acquaintances in the whole state but I get to spend time with my family everyday and connect deeply with friends across the country (thanks to technology). I get up to wash dishes, do baking, clean bathrooms, study counseling, pray in my meadow and then do it all again. Simple but rich. Such days are interspersed with travel to encourage precious people that it’s worth putting Jesus and their family first. It’s the same kind of life I’ve lived for years. First it was grade school, then high school, then college, then university. But all similar. And for years I thought it was good but mundane. I mean, I could be doing so much more. I could be in Africa feeding orphans. I thought when I grew up life would get more interesting. And it did. But not in the way I thought.
My life hasn’t changed much, but I have. I’ve begun to realize how beautiful my life is, whatever it looks like at that moment. I get to live everyday with my best Friend by my side. When I wake up He is waiting for me. All day long I get to do things with Him. If the day is quiet (something that used to make it seem dull to me) I get to spend even more time with Him. I still have big dreams. But what I really want is to be His little girl and live every day to the full with Him. If He wants to use me in a big way one day, that’s great, and if not, that’s fine too.
I didn’t feel that way in the past. I spent twice as much time giving up dreams as I did living them… But now I’m so thankful I did, even when it felt like He was asking me to give up all I ever wanted. Because the thing is, in the giving things up, He changed what I wanted. He’s aligned my desires with His. It’s a beautiful thing to experience.
I’ve been challenged by many sources of late to treasure my life. One sweet lady (Kara Tippetts) who I’ve never met has made me realize what a gift my life is. I started following her blog early this year and read her story of cancer eating away at her body while her love for Jesus and her family kept her living everyday to the full. Even after she passed away, I’ve been drawn back to her blog many a time to read old posts her friends have reposted. Somehow reading about a life that drew to an early close helps me realize how precious mine is and how often I squander it. So many of us have so much life, we don’t realize what a gift it is or that it should be treasured. We tear through it like it doesn’t matter. Meanwhile there are other who are in their very last days. They realize the gift of life. They savor every drop. If we would listen to them we would learn so much about how to live our long lives… Because how do we know ours really will be long? Isn’t it worth treasuring each day like it is our last?
Just last week I found myself reasoning that it was ok that I hadn’t connected deeply with Him that day because I had the whole winter… And then it struck me— if He’s my best Friend, how can I ever think I have enough time with Him? How can tomorrow be good enough? What about making the most of today?
And so today I wake up snuggled in my soft blankets while it is still dark. I open my eyes and realize He’s here in this stillness. This very moment is a treasure. I can waste the whole thing on FB or I can stop and say good morning. I open my prayer journal on my phone and I type...
Good morning Jesus! It's dark. It's just us. And I love you. Thank you for being my friend. Sometimes I'm not very lovable. But this week I am determined to make the most of little moments. You know what I realized? Life is made up of little moments. And I've never really appreciated them. I want to do great big things and little moments are kind of annoying. But I'm realizing that a friendship is built on these little minutes throughout the day and how I use them. I want to maximize them and make the most of every little minute.
For me that means talking to Him while I bake. It means sitting on the couch next to the kitchen while I wait for the food in the oven to be done cooking and telling Him just how I feel and what I’m thinking at that moment. It means opening up that prayer journal on my phone many times some days. It means turning to Him when my heart aches instead of trying to pretend it doesn’t. It means going to bed with my heart in His hands instead of in my own plans.
I’ve been ok with just having Jesus in the last year and you know the amazing thing? I’ve never been more content or happy in my life. I couldn’t figure it out at first. I thought maybe it would pass and it would have been ok if it had because it’s all about Jesus not happiness. But it hasn’t. Because when all we want is Jesus we have all we want. He never denies us Himself.
My life isn’t perfect, but it is wonderful, because He is wonderful. I have the desire of my heart because He is that desire. And because I have Him, every sunrise seems brighter, every rainbow bigger. Mundane moments become treasures because of Who they are shared with.
Another day ends. Today the sun shone. The world spinned. I saw smiles. I heard laughter. I shared moments with the family He’s blessed me with. I talked to the One I love. Today I’ve lived.
The stars glimmer at night and I look up and remember that when days are done here I get to go home. And until then, I’ll walk this journey of love with the King of Love Himself.
And I’ll be content with all I have because He Himself has said, “I will never leave thee or forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)