Living Every Little Moment: Experiencing A Full Life Right Here and Now

Living Every Little Moment Experiencing A Full Life Right Here and Now.png

As I learn to live, as I grow, as I experience life – I’m realizing that sometimes, life isn’t what it seems.

 

It’s hard, sure. It’s messy. Problems arise, we hurt and things break us, and it’s not easy to deal with all of it, oftentimes.

 

But truly…life can be simple.

 

I often overthink. Overplan. Overworry. Overdo everything, because I feel like I might mess things up if I don’t.

 

You know?

Continue reading “Living Every Little Moment: Experiencing A Full Life Right Here and Now”

Finding Security in a Messy World

Finding Security in a Messy World

You don’t need to be a genius to realize that the world is a mess.

 

I’m not a genius. I know that the world is a mess.

 

Last week, we witnessed the ISIS terrorist attack on Paris. Innocent lives slain. Families torn to pieces. Countless injuries.

 

And things like this leave us all saying, what if that was me? What if I went on vacation in Paris and never came back? What then?

 

It’s kind of scary. To think that anyone of us could be having the best day of our lives but then wind up in a hospital room, devoid of functioning limbs. Or in a funeral home, lying in a casket ready to be buried in the ground.

 

What then?

 

Tragedy is known so well to this world. There is no escape from the inevitable: death. Hurt. Pain. Loss.

 

For so many of us, we soak up reality and embrace insecurity. Kids, don’t forget to wear your SPF 1567 sunblock, hockey helmet, and bulletproof bathing suit. You wouldn’t want the chance of death on a beautiful summer day, now would you.

 

Hey, the apocalypse might come in a few months. EVERYONE, QUICK, BUY CANNED FOOD AND LOTS OF BUBBLE-WRAP WITH EXTRA INSULATED SWEATERS.

 

As much as this is ridiculously satirical, it’s how so much of us think – just on a smaller scale.

 

What if I go out to school one day and never come home?

 

What if I walk to work next week and wind up in a wheelchair?

 

What if I go to the gym tomorrow and end up dead?

 

And how can I prevent that?

 

I get it. Life isn’t safe. Every time we take a breath, we run the risk of it being our last. It’s the curse of life, and there is no reverse. Take a look at the news (or, don’t) and see all the destruction.

 

This world is messed up. Security is just about impossible.

 

But you want to know what?

 

My lack of security in my own life leads me to one of two things. Either I can roll around in freakoutishness (don’t argue, that’s totally a word) and fear, or I can put my hope in security that is greater than any threat to my human life.

 

Listen to what Jesus says here.

 

Luke 12:4

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.”

 

Our lives are but a blip on the face of eternity. If death is inevitable, eternity is even more inevitable. When this blip of life ends – and trust me, it will – we need assurance of real security.

 

This security comes from the Gospel. I wrote about it recently here, read it if you haven’t already.

 

With the forgiveness of our sins by Jesus’ sacrifice, we are given ETERNAL LIFE.

 

Also, read this one where I talk about our choice of eternity.

 

Life is super scary, I know! But we don’t need to be afraid.

 

Knowing that I’m not “safe” in this life doesn’t increase my paranoia. It challenges me to remember that worrying doesn’t fix things. It reminds me that my life is in God’s hands, and His plan is always best, even if I can’t see it. It hammers into me that eternity is honestly all that ultimately matters.

 

Significance and security go hand in hand. (Read this post here about that.)

 

The world is a mess, but this is only our temporary home.

 

We shouldn’t dwell on the insecurity of our lives, but the security of heaven when we trust in Jesus to forgive our sins.

 

So don’t be consumed with fear. It’s not worth it when our lives prove to be so short. But focus on what’s really important – eternity.

 

Where will you be in 100 years?

 

*aj

Do I Really Trust? Let’s Find Out…

Do I Really Trust Let's Find Out...

This blog is titled Scattered Journal Pages for a reason, and it’s time I use the theme more than I do.

These are my contemplations, and the equivalent of what I would write (sort of) in my journal. My contemplations. Things I’m feeling, and learning, and growing from.

Yesterday (Monday) was a miserable day for me.

Actually, it really wasn’t miserable, but I was miserable. My attitude. My feelings. My outlook. And yes, a few days before, I had just written about not forgetting my joy.

I felt like a hypocrite, I really did. This girl who claims that joy lasts is not living with a joyful spirit.

And I mean, that totally happens. Sometimes we just succumb to our dark circumstances and make ourselves see only bitter dark tunnels with no end.

Some things have happened that have weighed on me emotionally, and I let that become the end.

Some people say they ‘can’t feel,’ but for me, it felt like I was just feeling so much. And for my future, I’m scared.

I have to do my own invented version of self-analysis when I feel this way.

Why am I so down?

I’m down because I’m scared to death.

Why am I so scared?

Because I have no idea what’s coming in the future.

Do I trust God?

Of course I trust God. Don’t I?

Do I trust that God’s plan is best, even when I can’t see it?

Well, I know it is.

 

Yes, but do I really trust? Do I trust that He will bring me through everything that happens to accomplish His plan?

Yes…I think so.

 

Do I trust that even if He doesn’t bring me through, that it’s for the best?

I don’t know. I should. Because I know it is. So, yes.

 

Then why am I still afraid?

Because…what if things never get better? What if my life stays just like this forever? What if I’m hopelessly lost for the rest of my life?

 

Should that really be my concern, though? Okay, let’s say things never get better. Say I have to live with my circumstances how they are long-term. Do I still trust that God’s way is perfect? Do I still believe that God has my life under control, that what happens happens, and that He will never leave me or forsake me?

*thinks for a long while* Yes, I do trust.

The light is what we make of it.

I told myself I was fumbling around in darkness. I told myself I had to be miserable. I told myself I was in a tunnel without and end. I told myself that there was no light.

 

But those are lies.

 

I forgot (temporarily) what the Bible says.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I wasn’t giving thanks and living with what God had given me. But now I am.

2 Samuel 22:31

“This God—his way is perfect;

the word of the Lord proves true;

he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

I wasn’t trusting that as hard as God’s plan may be, that it is the best. Now I am.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I wasn’t trusting that God’s plans for me were for my welfare, future, or hope. But now I realize that they are.

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I was basing my fear of insecurity off of my perception of what was going on. Instead, I’ve refocused. I’ve realized that things may look like they’re impossible, but God has a plan through it all. That His ways are far better than mine.

The verses speak for themselves.

I want to encourage all of you today, don’t give up on trusting God.

Don’t give in to the lies that hold you captive.

Never lose hope that God’s ways are best, and whatever happens is for your good and His glory.

And please remind me of all of this when I feel like I’m in the dark!

*aj

The Future: Control, Loosened Feet, and Letting Go  

Waterfall

To be completely honest, I have no idea where I’ll be a few years from now.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing, who I’ll be friends with, where exactly I’ll be at in school, where I’ll be living, nothing. I really don’t know.

To some people, this might seem like a horrible thing. NO CONTROL? WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY?

(Yeah, I am. But it’s a good kind of crazy. You’ll see why.)

I can be a bit of a control freak at times. Really. I worry way too much about things sometimes. I wouldn’t encourage it, because it focuses on I and me too much. What I want. What’ll help me. (More like what I think that I want and will help me, but really won’t.)

I might make a million plans right now. Now this is hypothetical, and I haven’t thought through the answers to all of this, but I’ll do an example.

I’m going to go to ____ College.

I’m going to major in _______.

I’m going to have a career in _________.

I’m going to date ________ person, we’re going to get engaged and be engaged for ___ months, and our wedding theme and colors will be __________.

I’m going to have _________ many kids.

I’m going to buy a house by the ___________.

And so on and so forth. Maybe we don’t have it all figured out, but we dream (and plan out our ideas in our heads), and hold onto *that thing* as our security.

But *that thing* cannot be guaranteed. Why? Because we are not in control.

Proverbs 16:9 says, The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

 

I’m not saying I haven’t made plans. I sure have. I mean, it’s very smart to plan ahead, but we cannot be so stuck on it that we don’t let God lead us.

James 4:13-15 sums this up pretty much the same way that I’m trying to explain.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

 

We should live with “loosened feet”. Feet that are free to move where God calls us. We can plan, but we must let God direct us. We are not in control; He is. We should live to do what God wills for us. By getting to know Him, He will show us. He will open and close doors for us, and He will guide us.

(Isaiah 30:21, And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”)

Like I said, I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at in a few years, both physically and spiritually.

But that’s okay with me.

I’m not in control, but I know the One who is. And I trust that He knows what’s best for me.

As a matter of fact, I know that He knows what’s best for me. He knows what’ll bring me closer to Him. He has a purpose in everything, even if I can’t see it.

So I’ve let go.

It’s okay that I’m not in control. Because He is, and that’s all I need to know.

*aj