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Walking in grace on unexpected roads

When I was a girl, I'd dream up the ultimate life. That's what we tend to do, right? Picture it in our mind and then spend our whole life trying to make it our reality.

And yet so many times we chase without ever holding in our possesion the life of our childhood dreams.

It could be for any number of reasons. Maybe you've grown up to find that life is a little more complicated than the simplistic view from your childhood days, or maybe events beyond your control have gone and taken over control of the ten year plan that you were in the midst of working through.

Or, maybe we could all find that the greatest dreams come true, when we open up our hands and lay our hearts bare before the One who crafts the galaxies and spins this earth in a perfect, perpetual orbit. 

How to live a day that holds more weight

They say that time flies and we're all pretty sure that it's true. We look back on the days that made up the weeks, which made up the months that somehow turned into years, and we wonder exactly how we've gotten to where we are.

We wish we could freeze it-store it all up to be lived all over again. But the fact is that time just keeps on passing us by without us knowing just how to even pause for a moment to catch enough breath.

Maybe these steps could create a day that stays around long enough to hold some real weight. Maybe just one of these ideas implemented into your day could give it enough weight to carry right on into eternity. I think it's worth a try, don't you?

Right now, let's do a little brainstorming on what simple choices we could make in order to live in a way that brings more of significance into our day. Here are a few of my own to begin...

1. Fight the urge to share it all. When your favorite moments come around, jump into them fully instead of reaching for your phone like usual. Embrace it, notice every aspect of it, open your eyes wide and tuck it all back inside of your mind. It'll sometimes do better than all of the likes of Instagram.

2. Add a few more hours to your day. I've heard it said and said it myself-what we all wouldn't do for just a few more seconds of time. Go ahead and do the dreadful deed of waking a few hours early. My best advice for success-when the alarm goes off, jump out of bed before your mind has time to start. You'll be amazed at all you've accomplished before ten in the morning, and the sunrise views make a nice little bonus.

3. Let go of the social barriers that keep you from reaching out. We'd rather call them our walls of protection, but what exactly are we keeping ourselves protected from? Jesus never saw a need for walls of protection, and neither should you and I when it comes to our every day interactions. Live outside of your comfort zone and you'll begin to see what real living is all about. Next time you're in public, tear right through the wall between you and another human being. You'll never know just how much they might need the real Love that's inside of you.

4. Stoop down low to the littles in your life, and begin to see through their precious eyes. There's a reason God gave us the nudge to be like a child, and we all tend to skip over it far too easily. We overcomplicate and under-care and throw out the God given curiosity that brings us what we're meant to enjoy. We make ourselves to big and our God far too small, thinking we know best, when He holds it all. Yes, we'd all do well to look through these little eyes and get our world changed up a bit.

5. Learn to keep a book open. We'd all wish for more time to learn, more time to think, and more time to grow through the wealth of a treasured good book. We say we don't have time, and maybe that's true for you. But what if we each added up the amount of times when we reach out for our phone out of boredom, or a few minutes wait. Add it all up and you might just find a book or two of time, in your minutes of in between time. Learn to keep a book close by and choose to read a page instead of scrolling a little more.

6. Live boldly in the only thing that is really going to matter. We're all about our living boldly and throwing off fear, but what a crying shame it will be if we get to the end of our lives and find that we lived in shame and fear in the most important thing. In the end it will all come down to who gave all to follow Christ, and who counted up their lives and found them too precious to let go of. We've got to stop fearing what the world is going to think and start speaking out on the most important thing. In the end, God's not going to applaud our boldness to wear what we want and each speak our minds, but rather who showed the real meaning of bravery by saving another lost life. 

7. Learn to write down as much of life as you can. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and sure it might be true, but a picture is never going to add the detail that's wrapped up in your mind. Describe it and feel it and let the words flow freely onto the page. This is what generations will look back on in order to know the impact of your earthly life. Let it speak of Him who created you, and let the generations ahead gain a spot next to you on this beautiful life that you've been given.

I've seen glimpses of the beauty of each of these ways of life, and yet I've far from mastered a single one of them, I'm afraid. So why don't we band together and learn to make our days count, instead of watching our lives keep flying right by?

Start with one maybe, or come up with your own. Live intentional, because He's placed a number on your days, with a purpose for each one. Don't loose a bit of it to lesser things.

Now it's your turn, go ahead and share-what little changes could you make?

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The doors that lead us deeper in

In all of your imaginings of heaven, do you ever sit and wonder about the list of things that we're going to be surprised by?

I like to think about what could be listed there among the countless things that will catch us off guard in comparison to being in His glorious presence. After all, what do our earthly minds know about a place that is called eternal? What does our short sighted view really amount to standing up against all of time.

When you've got to fight daily

There are days when it seems to be a battle to simply keep the focus. You can have your eyes set on the Master, you can have your heart fixed on what is true, and yet a thousand times you feel the pull to look, instead to doubt.

The enemy tries his best to deceive you, sending little lies to run right through your mind. He tries to make the fears appear greater than the source of safety you are leaning heavily upon.

Choosing to see the least of these

You and I have always been taught that bigger is going to be better than the little that we've got. We're told to go as far as we can, and embrace every bit that this life has to offer. We're taught that success is measured in numbers and the great heights that you are able to reach.

We've all heard it said, "go big or go home." As if this life is wasted if you don't reach up for the best.

Our culture seems to cheer the loudest for those who are running the fastest towards their own, self-created version of success. Our world stands up to applaud those who've given their all to the fight for more in their earthly lives.

In search of deliverance

As we all seek to move forward in the journey of following after Christ, there is one thing that we never want to find in our lives.

It's called idolatry.

To the heart that truly knows Him, this idea ought to bring a cringe to our souls as we think of giving our worship to anything of waste.

We know in our minds that He's the One true God, and yet our affections seem to constantly fight to be given to objects holding nothing of value.

Today's small choices

"When we choose deliberately to obey Him, then He will tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist us."
 -Oswald Chambers

Have you ever felt that God is silent? Have you felt as if you're wandering in the darkness, in search of some direction, and there aren't any lights that are turning on? 

Or, maybe you're trying to do His will and yet with every step forward into what seemed right, you're left feeling like somewhere, somehow you got it all wrong. 

Yesterday I heard the quote up above, and was caught by it. I turned it over in my mind and thought about what it means for my life.

You see, we can be pretty good at this whole idea of obedience when it looks fairly heroic. When God asks us to do something that we deem as grand and glorious work, we some how have the instant "yes".

But is that the only time for our obedience? Shouldn't there be smaller yes' paving the way in our Christian lives? 

We can stumble around and wonder why things aren't falling into place. We can trip and falter and begin to doubt, thinking we gave it all our very best, and God just isn't coming through. But let me ask you, are you obedient today? 

Not just in those noble and grand tasks, but are we obedient on today's littlest tasks? 

Are we doing what we know we ought to do, in order to love Him best? 

Are we following His ways in every part of our lives, or only when it works well for us?

If we're giving Him our all-every part of every single day-then there's nothing that will stop Him having His way. 

We will still stumble at times and things aren't always clear, but if obedience is kept our theme then peace will rule our hearts and worry fades away. For the God of the galaxies is walking close beside, and He gives everything that's needed to the heart that is given to obedience. 

Just as a parent knows what's best for their child, so our Father knows what's best for us. 

He will use you in ways you didn't plan, ways that you wouldn't have chosen. But in the end you'll see with unclouded view and understand that His ways are always going to be best.

If you sense some sort of distance, or you wonder why life isn't making sense; if you're praying seems to get you nowhere and you're left wanting something more, look for ways to be obedient today. Take the leap and do what you know you ought. 

You'll soon find that your obedience to Him is one of the very greatest acts of love to your Father, who always knows best.

Perhaps you've felt that urge to wake a little earlier and spend a bit more time with Him. Perhaps it means a letting go of something else you're holding onto besides Christ. Perhaps it's your lack of prayer or your actions against another life. 

Whatever it is that might be that is pulling on you, go ahead and say yes. Take the leap and learn to obey. The reward of your obedience will always far outweigh the price you'll pay for holding anything back.