Living In The Now

Living In The Now

Surrendering our desires for a more content way of living.
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Desire is such a powerful emotion.

It is something that seems to live inside and when it is so strong it feels as though your whole world will lose meaning if you can’t have that one thing…

That outfit.

That job...

That apology...

That relationship...

Desire is a very real thing.

When I think of desire, I tend to think of something that I want— that I shouldn’t have. And yet, sometimes our desires are born out of a place of innocence. Sometimes we desire things that aren’t necessarily bad for us, but that we need to wait for.

Some desires aren’t a bad thing, but we still need patience.

I am convinced of this: Our fascination for that one thing is only bad when that yearning overpowers our desire for God.

If we’re not careful, our desires can lead to greed, selfishness, and discontentment.

As Christians, I think we know this. We understand that our one desire should be God and that we need to not want anything else.

But what happens when it’s not? How do we refocus our eyes on Him?

When our desire has taken us too far, it focuses our eyes on the future.

It leads us to expect great things up ahead—which is great! But it also distracts us from the now...and it creates discontentment in our hearts.

So those of us who are prone to things like wanderlust, daydreaming, restlessness, thinking big and dwelling too long on our desires—we need to learn to be present.

We need to learn how to focus on what is right in front of us and find the beauty in the now.

I know this is so hard when your desires are so strong. Your ability to gaze into the future is a gift, but sometimes it can disconnect you with what is presently all around you.

What are you missing because you are too focused on what lies ahead? What is that desire that you spend so much time waiting, distracting you from?

Sometimes I am so fearful that I am going to miss what God has for me. Something might come my way and I’m going be too discombobulated to see it and because of that, my whole future will be ruined. This fear leads me to think about the future and what kind of mistakes I am going to make along the way.

The panic and frantic thoughts that my desires instill in me, make me realize that I maybe haven’t surrendered my future to God like I thought I had.

So this week I had an epiphany.

Dang, I love when that happens. It’s less of an epiphany and more like God slapping me in the face—graciously of course ;)

This week I was running around, back and forth, up and down and I felt like a rubber band being pulled in every direction.

Because of this, I neglected several important things, including prayer.

I am painfully aware of the fact that prayer is not my strong suite in my relationship with God. And here is what my epiphany was: Of course prayer isn’t my strength! Prayer is supposed to slow us down and be present.

AND THAT’S LIKE MY LEAST FAVORITE THING!!!

Literally, my prayers are a lot like this:

“Hey God, thanks so much for today. The sun was out, and it was so nice and I got to see friends and had great conversation and...shoot, did I leave my keys in class? Where are my keys??? Man, that class was weird today...so long...I wonder when my assignment for that class is due. And dangit! Did I forget to submit that other assignment!? Oh, no...I did it. Yeah. Thank goodness…Wait? Am I still praying? Did I say amen yet? Darn it! Sorry, God. So like I was saying…”

Yep, it takes about an hour for me to get a solid prayer in.

Because my mind is always so focused on what’s next. During my busy week I felt God constantly tugging on my heart, and honestly, it breaks my heart a little to share this, like little whispers, He says to me:

What about me? Christy? Christy, I’m still here…

And He is so good and He is so patient. Always waiting for me to talk to Him without any distractions.

My mind works in the future-tense. “Someday I’ll travel the world,” “Someday, I’ll have the perfect job,” “Someday I’ll be good at praying…”

It is sometimes so hard for me to be present because my heart yearns for adventure and the day-by-day seems so mundane.

But I forget that in order to get to my future, I need to work for it NOW. I have to let my desires drive me in the present and I have to stop making them race my mind back and forth from the present to the future.

Jesus knows my desires. He is very aware of what I want and what I need. I do not need to worry.

And neither do you.

There’s this beautiful song by Steffany Gretzinger whose lyrics remind me that I owe God my present self.

Call my name and I will answer

All you need is here inside my arms

Just breathe and you’ll be safe and sound with me

Cuz no one knows you better than me

And no one’s been a better friend…

Doesn’t that break your heart? I mean think about that for a second...no one knows you better than Jesus.

And here I am waiting for my future that will never come unless I learn to live in the present.

What are you waiting for?

That perfect someone?

That perfect job?

That perfect life experience?

Let me tell you, life is happening right now all around you. Adventure happens every day.

But you are always going to be just a little discontent if you let your heart idolize the future.

Learn to live in the present. Spend time with your Father...He loves you so much. The more you spend time with Him, the more peace will invade your mind where desires once lived.

And then your heart that was once desperate and anxious for the future, will be content in your Father’s arms.

Cover Image Credit: prinz.de

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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