On Living Life to the Fullest
“Don’t take life for granted” ; “Live life to the fullest”; “Each day is a gift”
How often do we hear these cheesy, albeit wise and meaningful statements? How often do we pause, take a deep breath, and meditate on their meaning?
Personally, I hear at least a variant of this wisdom regularly. While I agree with the sentiment and acknowledge my multiple good fortunes frequently, I could certainly do better at practicing these words in my every day life.
Recently, I have returned to church, initiated a journaling practice, and started a Simple Abundance daily meditation (a gift from my mama—would recommend!).
This week’s message at City Church Bartlesville focused on life’s brevity, difficulty, and progress. Similarly, this morning’s reading in Simple Abundance was entitled: “Until it is Carved in Stone”. Both provide similar lessons; subsequently, I have been reflecting upon their messages and introspecting how they may apply to my own journey.
Psalm 39:4-“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is.”
This is an important acknowledgment in everyday life. I frequently become disenchanted with the everyday “grind”. When I am working, I am task-motivated. I spend my day rushing through my daily duties- pre-rounding on patients, rounding on patients, rushing to meetings, completing presentations, journal clubs, and research deadlines. I am guilty of failing to pause and actually appreciate the little pleasures- the beautiful sunrise out of my office window, the pure joy expressed by a dog when you awaken for the day or arrive home from work, a tasty meal, a shared laugh with coworkers. This vice has emerged during my more recent routine, also. I have low moments where I wonder why it has to take so long to recover and I wish this season would end. I dream of the life I want to have for myself and wish I could have the husband, children, flexible job, and hobbies I envision now (or, like yesterday). But now is beautiful, too. The days are filled with quality time with my parents, marveling at how much stronger I get every day, appreciating how resilient the human body is, and eating delicious new foods. So each day, may I ask to remember how short my life will be, that tomorrow is not promised, and to therefore appreciate the day as is.
John 16:33- ““Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world”
My mom frequently states, “no one makes it out of this earth unscathed”. She is correct- illnesses occur, relationships end, career stressors emerge, and the news is filled with regular accounts of tragedies and natural disasters. The positive is that faith allows us to remember that there is a greater strength and power that will get us through. My personal trial has drawn me closer to my faith and I have spent more frequent time in prayer. With this, I noticeably feel stronger, and I believe this is a source of power greater than me.
Phillipians 3:13- “I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me”
Part of living life to the fullest is to look forward whether than dwelling on the past. Personally, I have made multiple mistakes that have adversely affected relationships and health. This verse reminds me that through my faith, I am made new. My past mistakes are forgotten and do not define my present or future. I can strain and fight and reach the goal for my future.
Hebrews 12:1” We must get rid of everything that slows us down, we must run with endurance the race set before us.”
Baggage is heavy. And we all carry it. My personal baggages have included my eating disorder and perfectionism. When I was carrying them, I was unable to move forward. I had no vision for my future or what I wanted my life to look like. When I unloaded these two things, I suddenly found myself dreaming again. I was able to envision the life I want to create. And with this lighter load and newfound direction, I know that I will achieve the goal set before me.
January 10, A Simple Abundance: “Realizing our heart’s desire is possible every day until it is carved in stone”
Life is dynamic. We are regularly gifted new beginnings: a new day, a new month, a new season, a new year. Each new beginning allows us to pause and mindfully remember the simple pleasures that can make us happy and bring joy to our life. These lessons are important reminders. I have greatly benefited from this mindset shift, and I hope you will, also.