Reasons You Don’t Suck at Life {Part One}

The night before last, I asked Jesus to be sure to wake me up the next morning, ready to jump into everything on my “to-do” list with a bold excitement. I remember saying, “…but seriously, mister; do whatever you can to get me out of bed.”

And oh, Jesus tried.–He really did.

A tree-limb fell and hit my window, but I hardly flinched. There were alarm clocks going off I honestly don’t remember setting, but I incessantly hit “snooze” on each of them until they finally gave up, I think. And there was some pesky little morning bird who seemingly mocked me with its zealous spirit of chirping over the day. By the end of these annoyances, I could almost hear Jesus say, “Alright, kid…this is where free-will comes in.” After that, it took nearly every ounce of strength I had to roll over, place both feet sloppily on the ground, and bend my knees to rise and greet the day. The phrase “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” smacked me on the forehead, {and because my bed is practically against a window, I have no choice: there is really only one side of the bed I can get out of}. Sure, it was a Monday, but the day hadn’t even begun, and I was already defeated.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever choose to intentionally start your week off on the right “foot”, full-steam-ahead, ambition and courage tucked in your pockets, only to completely fail? 

Yeah, me too. 

I’m actually currently living in the wake of those circumstances, and it’s been pretty rough.
But in the process, God has been tugging on my heart, reminding me I am dearly beloved, and He wants me to remind you of that, too. If you’re still reading this, it could be because we’re in the same boat, not knowing which direction to raise our sails or where to cast our anchors.

So I’ve set my agenda down.
Turned off my cell-phone {it’s liberating…I dare you to try it}.
And compiled a short list of affirmations of how we don’t suck at life & why what you’re doing may or may not be working:

1. Don’t Sleep When You’re Dead. Sleep Now.
If you’ve been one to believe the phrase “You can sleep when you’re dead”, it’s probably because it’s been engrained in you by someone who didn’t actually know how to rest. And I’m not just talking about a physical rest, consisting of REM and 8 full-hours, as prescribed by doctors. No, I’m referring to the rest that happens when we get with the Lord and hang out in His presence for a while. In western culture, this is especially difficult; but it’s also imperative. Research suggests people who know when to put down their iPhones {or don’t even bring them to bed to begin with} are happier, healthier, and living longer, with less chronic disease and ailments. If you’ve been given the guilt-trip for being a “grandma” and going to bed before 10 PM, set that guilt down right now, because you don’t suck–you’re actually wiser than the rest. I love how Graham Cooke puts it: “We need rest not just to practice the presence of God internally, but to guard against the negativity of the enemy and the negativity of other people. We need rest because we are a company of people that have set our hearts on changing the atmosphere around us.”

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2. It’s Only March, and your New Year’s Resolutions {& Lenten Oaths} Were Thrown Out with Yesterday’s Garbage.
I’m not sure why this is, but we love to set ourselves up for failure. We create unrealistic expectations of ourselves, raising ridiculous standards that simply don’t fit into the current infrastructure of our lives. These things we profess to give-up should be sacrificial…meaning the thought of going without them should sting a bit. But the truth is if we don’t ask God what we need to “give-up” or resolve to do first, really waiting on His answer and for His guidance, we’re probably going to end-up striving in vain. If you’ve gained 10 pounds instead of shedding them, and felt drawn to the TV remote and your March Madness bracket, even after you said you wouldn’t participate and obsess, you’re not alone in that, and you don’t suck. Next time, though, if you resolve to do one thing, be revolutionary, and build a team of like-minded people around you to help. Write out your aspirations in BIG, bold letters where you can see them daily, and invite some of your sacred people into that season of fasting or aiming to really help hold you to your word. Simply put, we were given other people for a reason: we weren’t meant to do life alone.

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And we’re in it together.
And life doesn’t have to feel like a perpetual Monday.
And bravery through the downpour of conflicts will win every time, resulting in a healthier, more whole you.

{…To Be Continued…}

 

So, what lessons will you take away?
And what other ways are you learning you don’t actually suck {because there are many…}? Leave your comments below.

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