Checking In Part Three

Day Thee: Checking In

Have you taken out your journal? Have you jotted down anything? Today we will talk about never taking life for granted. If you would like to read part one and part two of Checking In please go to my blog https://firsthalfday1.wordpress.com.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy for people to slow down and appreciate their lives. But what causes them to be on the go so much? What causes them to avoid what is really going on inside of them? As a librarian, I am seeing more and more self-help books on the shelves written by people who have survived personal tragedies and how their experience has cause them to stop taking their lives for granted. I could fill quite a few pages with my own personal tragedies but here I am at the age of 51 and am finally learning to slow down, step back into my life and take nothing for granted.

There are many things that people avoid in themselves that causes them to be on the go and not see the realness of life. To me, the realness of life is God’s blessings all around me. I would like to dissect a few of these things. Believe me when I say, I struggle with these things myself. This is not a lesson for you and not myself; oh no, not at all.

  1. Being counterfeit: How many times do we go to church on Sunday and by Tuesday we realize we are not that smiling Sunday pew sitter? We are yelling at our family, complaining about our jobs, eating every cookie in the cookie jar or drinking another glass of wine. That’s the Devil. He’s trying to win us over by enticing us. Folks, resist the Devil and He shall flee. James 4:7. In those times, when you are falling apart, get out your journal and write down what is really bothering you. Pray in your writing. I often write: Lord, let me feel the feeling and then help me to release it to you. I am not in control of this but You are and I trust You. Try it.
  2. Prioritizing: How much time are you spending with God? Are you prioritizing your time? Are you praying for those who have asked you to please pray for them? Here is a good time to jot down in your journal what is taking away your time from slowing down and spending time with God? Make your list on the left and then on the right, jot down a resolution to your priorities. This is a prayer I’ve written and it sits by my bedside: in the Name of the True Living God, Jesus Christ, I renounce my worship to ______________________that is stealing precious time spent with You. My personal blank can be filled with different things on any given day. Give it a try.
  3. Bitterness: This is a biggie. When my x-husband left me, I was very bitter and for a long time. I did a lot of crying, praying and participated in psychotherapy. I would suggest that if you are bitter with someone or over some situation, stop now, jot it down and ask God how He would like for you to deal with the situation. Often we hold things against ourselves as well, punishing ourselves for wrong choices we’ve made in the past. Oh boy, do I struggle with this one. Don’t forget how much God loves you; He sent His one and only Son to save you. Ponder that for a minute. He loves you no matter what. No matter what wrong choices you’ve made; He will not leave you nor forsake you. Oh thank you Jesus. In your bitterness journal, I would like for you to do one more thing. This is a very private exercise; it is between you and God. Write down the “thoughts you have or have had against God.” Obviously God has never done anything wrong but there have been times where we’ve thought He has. Pour your heart out. He will reveal His love for you.

There are so many other reasons that steals our time and we take it for granted. We forget the wonderful things that He has done for us. We look to the world to bring us joy and happiness but it cannot do that. This is why people live in constant frustration seeking and missing the day. One more writing assignment, then I’ll go…This will hopefully bring empowerment and a creative expansion to your life. Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform. Include the mundane activities. They can be things like driving to work, grocery shopping, sweeping the kitchen floor, changing diapers, caring for your parents…then bring your awareness to each activity and thank God for them. I thank you God that I have a car and a job. I thank you God that I have money to buy groceries for my family. I thank you God for my baby. I thank you that I can change the diaper and that I have plenty on the shelf. I thank you God for my father/mother and for this time that I can give back to them for all they’ve done for me.  You get my drift. If you take the time to make yourself a vehicle of alertness, you will not take your life for granted. May I leave you with this last scripture:

But God, who is rich in mercy because of His great love, that He had for us, made us alive with the trespasses.

You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus, He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,

So that in the coming ages, He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-8

living by graceI am honored to be part of Living by Grace as the co-host today. Come and join us as we discuss my journal exercises in my four part series: Checking In…

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