Choose Joy

Hi friends!

I haven’t posted in forever, but I would just like to warn you that when you ask God to make you brave, He will definitely take you up on that. This year, I graduated college, started a new job and in just 25 days, I get to marry my best friend! And I am so excited about all these things because God is doing far more than I could ever ask or imagine.

But as I’m counting down the days , I wonder why so much of our lives are filled with the “can’t wait” moments instead of the present ones. We all can’t wait to graduate, to get married, to get a job, to be an adult, to have kids, etc. And those are all crazy wonderful things. But I think too often, we view our lives in the big events instead of the everyday ones.

We say things like “It’s almost Friday” or “I can’t wait for xyz.” Or “I’ll be happy when I (insert whatever.)” And that’s not always a bad thing. But I wonder what our lives would look like if we focused more on the reality of today instead of the expectation of tomorrow. What would happen if we didn’t waste our waiting seasons?

Too often, we just sit around waiting for life to happen, when it’s happening right in front of our faces. We wait for the weekend while the weekdays slip by unnoticed. We numb ourselves to the beauty of today by dreaming of a greener, unpromised tomorrow. We think about the future, but we never do something to make the present the gift that it is.

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t get excited about things or that you shouldn’t have goals or dreams. I believe God made us to grow, to learn and to seek more of life and more of Him. But I also think that we get so worried about making a leap for humanity when we should start taking steps to make our daily reality better.

A lot of us view life as a timeline that we all accept. You’re “supposed to” get married or have kids or do whatever else it is that everyone else does, and when you check off the list, you’ve lived a good life.

But I don’t think that’s right. I pray that I don’t get so caught up in the milestones that I miss out on the memories. I want to wake up and look forward to the day ahead, knowing that God created it to be lived to the fullest. I love the way that Shauna Niequest explains it.

She writes “you comfort yourself with the mindlessness of life, protecting yourself with the reality that life is actually happening but you might not be there. It’s scary to be present, invested, on the front line of your life. It’s easier to numb yourself with details and daily doings, waiting for things to feel spectacular.

Your life is the good parts and the messy parts and the parts you screwed up. But we treat it like some monotonous, boring routine we show up for each day.

I think you have choice every day whether to waste your waiting or relish in it. You can reserve your joy for the momentous occasions, or you can find reasons to seek joy in the day. You can be intentional while you wait, knowing that time is inevitable but joy is optional.

I pray that I choose to truly live life, not just in the happy moments. Not just in the big moments. Not just in the moments I’m proud of or in the moments where others might be proud of me. I pray that that I recognize life is all the moments – the good, the bad, the ugly all rolled into one. It’s a collage of car breakdowns and birthdays, road trips and reading, adventuring and waiting. And all of it is to be lived because to not do so would be to insult the Maker of it all.

Love Always,

Alli

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