Gratitude Day 634
Romans 7:22 – Truly, deep within my true identity, I love to do what pleases God.
A few weeks ago, I met with a group of people who were reading The Mary Experiment: When DOING and BEING Collide. It’s the book I published about 18 months ago.
One of the questions that I was asked centered around how my Mary Experiment is going these days. Have I been able to live some of the things shared in the book?
The honest answer? Yes and no. Yes, I have been able to slow down some parts of my life. The pandemic has created a lot more time at home. And while there are some areas of my life where I feel more comfortable, there are other areas where I continue to struggle. I wish that I accomplished more in a day. I want to be more disciplined. I yearn to feel more peace.
This is how I feel day after day: better about where I am but still struggling.
I’m not sure any of us will ever feel completely comfortable with the appropriate amount of Doing and Being in our lives. Yet, there are things we can do to help us more towards the direction we yearn for.
Here’s one such way. When we look at something that we feel obligation to do, are we excited about the opportunity or overwhelmed by what lies in front of us?
Let me share some examples.
- As we think about making your yards beautiful and attractive, does this overwhelm you or excite you?
- Does planting a garden give you great joy or is it simply one more thing on your to-do list?
- While planning how you will exercise, do you experience anxiety because you aren’t sure how you will fit it in, or does it excite you because you now it will release all kinds of feel-good endorphins into your body?
- After agreeing to a volunteer position, do you look forward to this opportunity or do you bemoan the time it will take from your work?
- As the day begins, do you feel energized and ready to seize the day or do you feel tired before the day even gets going?
Let me be clear. There are simply some days that ARE easier than others. Days that you know will be overfull and challenging and require a lot more energy and effort. Yet, we also go into every day, every choice that we make deciding how we feel about it. Do we make situations fun and exciting … or are we the dreary person who others prefer not to hang around with?
Sometimes, our attitude is as simple as a mindset. Do we feel discouraged because we’ve waited for something and thus our time as been wasted OR do we see this time as an opportunity to catch up on something else?
I can spend time picking out seeds for the garden and love doing this … or I can feel like I don’t have enough time to do this.
We get to choose how we view something: will this be fun and an adventure OR will it be a drag? Will we be engaged and focused or distracted?
Yep, I know there are many things we can’t control. But we CAN decide how we will react and feel about a certain situation. We can ask the Holy Spirit to inspire us in the very best ways, so we are clear about how to release the hate and embrace the opportunity that lies right in front of us.
I know that too often, I am way too serious. This is a growing edge for me; a place where I can look at a situation and decide how I will embrace it. Will I allow this to be a moment when I can ask God to inspire me in the best way OR will I remain stuck and overwhelmed?
This changes day by day and moment by moment. Yet, I’m trying to find more joy in today. I want daily happiness as a part of what I do and how I live. I want to choose things that excite me and bring me happiness rather than including things that feel difficult and challenging.
How about you? Are you finding joy and happiness in the big and little parts of your day? Or are you just trying to slug through the day?
Doing what pleases God is important. Necessary. But also connecting with things that give us energy is also especially important.
It’s the tension between Doing and Being. The fine line between Martha and Mary. The opportunity to be excited about some task or dreading doing it.
I hope we find things and ways that we can shift some of feelings. See the wonderful things in our lives as great opportunities and value that WE get to live them.
So, when you are bemoaning some activities, ask yourself: “Am I choosing to do this? If so, then am I looking forward to it?” If not, then maybe you should simply stop doing it and put your energy towards something that does.
When we do this, then our work and play is pleasing in God’s eyes. And this, my friend, is an important place to be.
For being able to choose if something gives us energy or drains us, I am grateful.
Holy God – Thank you for all the good opportunities that come my way. Assist me in picking those things that will bring you glory and honor AND help me feel good about what I am doing for your kingdom. Thank you for being with me always. Amen.
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