Today is the first day of this entire week that the sun is shining.
There's some blue sky, with a scattered amount of clouds.
It's a brisk morning, but it's the absolute perfect type of morning to sit outside with a little blanket and a hot cup of lemon and ginger tea to write.
I'm a huge fan of mornings.. This week, I've had to open at work so i've been getting up at 5:45 everyday, and yeah, sometimes it's hard to get out of bed (especially when it's rained 3/3 days that I had to get up), but once I'm up, it's my favorite thing in the world.
I love the stillness of the mornings, the way the air feels, the way the birds chirp and fly around.
Walking out at the country club before anyone is there is refreshing, there's so much green everywhere and just the outdoors so early, before it's disturbed, before it's been walked on and played on, it's just there, being beautiful, and sucking me in by it's quiet stillness.
As I'm writing this, I'm sitting outside, and the birds seem more alive than ever, probably because they've been getting rained on all week.
Watching them fly around and land on the deck and chirp, and just be birds, they've reminded me of three things.
Each day is a new day. They've woken up for the day, they're doing their little chirping, and they remind me of the freshness of this Friday morning and every morning. Every single day is a fresh start, God's mercies are new each and every day. If you caught yourself stuck in some sins yesterday, if you were struggling and just having one of those days that you couldn't wait to be over.. it's over. It's a thing of the past. There's no need to be stuck in what was yesterday, because it's done. You can't go back, you don't have to go back, you just have to remember that this life we're given is lived in the now. You can learn from yesterday, but you shouldn't get so stuck in it that you forget to live in the present.
What comes out could change your mood and maybe a life. Okay, so maybe the birds' chirps aren't exactly "music" but closing your eyes and listening to them does sound like music to your ears. Sure it might not be the type of music you'd ever listen to, but how significantly can it affect your mood if you sit for just five minutes and breath. Listen to the world around you and realize how uniquely it was made, how awesome it is to be a part of it. Being in that state of mind makes you aware, causes you to relax and just be. We get so caught up in the rush of life that we forget to stop and look around and enjoy the beauty of it. Nature does that for me. It brings me to peace and makes me extra thankful to be out enjoying it. Each bird is special in it's own way, just like you and I. We don't chirp, but we speak, and the words we say have the ability to change one's entire day, or even sometimes, someones entire life. We have to remember that what comes out of our mouth, what comes out of others, what sounds we hear in our environment, does have an impact on who we are and how we feel.
We have the ability to fly. No, we don't have wings, but that doesn't mean we can't do it. If you're reading this, you and I have been blessed with another day. Another day to lift people up, to listen, to be a friend. It's not about the worldly successes, it's not about who can get to the top the fastest, not caring about who gets in your way and what you have to do to get there. No. It's about building others up, building up the Kingdom, and glorifying God through it. When this happens, when we do it not for ourselves, but for a reason greater than self pride and success. We learn that when we trust God, anything is possible. He'll give us strength, He'll give us bravery, He'll give us everything we need to fulfill his purpose within us. We might start of stumbling until we get the hang of things, of trusting Him with our heart and soul, but once we do that, we won't be walking, no darling, we will fly.
How many times do we think we can pull a fast one on God? If we make a decision at the very last second and it's completely opposite than what we were going to do, that we will have Him fooled?
We've convinced ourselves that we know what is best for ourself. We know what we should do with our lives, who we should be with, where we should live, what friends we should have, what we should do with our free time. We know it all because well, it is our life and we know ourself the best, right?
I know I've had my fair share of moments when I was selfish and lived for myself because hey, that's what everyone else is doing, so why shouldn't I?
Like me, there's probably been times in your life when you grabbed life by the horns and thought you knew what was best for you. Isn't it funny how in the end, we end up where we're meant to, whether we trust God or not? We think we've got Him fooled and will do it ourself, but He in fact had it in His hands the entire time.
Jeremiah 1:5 reads, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
Guys, He already knows.. Everything. There's no tricking him, no doing something unexpected, nada.
So what about when we think we have it all figured out and in the blink of an eye, everything changes and it's totally different than what we had expected?
We go to school, we barely make it through high school, we pursue a degree we love, we pursue a degree we could care less about. Then the day comes.. the day we have to get that "adult" job. We start building a career in a field we could care less about because that's what we feel we should do, what everyone else is doing. We need the money, we need this or that, so we suck it up. Before we know it, 40 years has flown by and we've lived a completely unfulfilled life.
We weren't created for that. We were each created uniquely for a specific purpose and that purpose isn't just to "get through the day." No. When we trust in Him, there's so much potential, so many opportunities.
Sure it might be scary as can be to put our trust in something we can't see, but if you're not living a life that isn't scaring you a little bit, then are you really growing and reaching your utmost potential?
We could do it all on our own, but the amazing thing is we don't have to. We have someone that knows us completely, our every thought, our every care, and He cares for us and wants us to have the best life.
Next time we're faced with a decision and we make the one that doesn't really mean the most to us, but means the most in regards to what others will think of you, how it affects your reputation, take a step back and ask yourself.. is this truly, deep down, 110% what I feel is right? Is this honestly what I feel I was created for, what I'm supposed to be doing?
If you can't answer that without hesitating, then maybe there's something more for you. Maybe you think you've got it all figured out, but by taking a leap of faith, there could be so much more in store.
The scariest things could keep us from taking chances because we're scared of standing out, by taking one little chance, it could change our lives forever, and not only ours, but the lives of those around us and keep going outward from there.
On Sunday we made our way over to Grand Haven beach to celebrate Mother's Day. I had to work on Saturday and Monday, so I wasn't going to have time to make the drive home, so we made the most of the day that we could without being there to celebrate with momma.
We started off at Jumpin Java. For those of you who know me, you know i'm a local coffee shop fanatic and whenever I go somewhere new, I'm usually finding a spot to grab an iced coffee at. It's not that I need the caffeine or the energy, I just love the atmosphere and trying new things, and the people inside are usually the sweetest. If you're ever in Grand Haven, I highly recommend this place!
So we grabbed our coffee and wandered down the street a little and stopped in some of the shops before heading to the beach. It was about ten degrees cooler on the beach than at home, so it was a little chilly- making our time on the sand under thirty minutes.
It all started with a game of tag. Just when I thought I'd be more in shape from working out and being active, boy was I wrong. Six and seven year olds and sand will do that to you. We quit after a few minutes and sat down in the sand to catch our breaths. We spent some time relaxing and basking in the cold yet bright sun.
My youngest nieces wanted to go to the new playground they'd built there, so they rushed off to play. My oldest niece and I were taking a stroll and walking up there when we saw a huge shadow on the ground right beside us. At first we thought something was right above us, but then once we started looking, we didn't see anything at all.
It started to freak us out a little bit because it kept moving, getting bigger and smaller and moving around. We were about to take off running when we finally saw it. Way up high was a kite, blocked from our view because the sun was hitting it at just the right angle.
All the praise hands that it wasn't anything other than that. When we were still on the hunt for tracking down whatever was lurking over us, Izzy asked "What is it!?!" I replied... "Jesus? Holy Spirit?!" Okay, so it was a kite, but really it got me thinking of how He is still there, how He's like our shadow and He's all around us.
Whether we're stuck living our life with our heads down because things don't seem to be going your way and feel lost, unlucky and hopeless, or we're skipping through life with our heads up, praising God for how awesome He is, regardless of our circumstances, He's the one constant in each of our lives. He doesn't love her more because she was the top of her class, He isn't more fond of him because he just got a promotion.
You see the beggar on the street, the millionaire, the homeless, the waitress, the CEO.. all such different lives, yet loved the same. All with their own struggles, all with their own mistakes, all with their own successes and failures. Not one of them is loved more than the other. We're all loved, completely, fully, entirely. Not just today, yesterday, and tomorrow.. no. Every. single. day. No matter what.
God doesn't answer her prayers first because she gave more at church on Sunday, He doesn't judge him because he told a few lies. He listens, all we have to do is cry out. Whether it be literally speaking out loud to him, or just praying inside our head, He's going to hear you, and He's going to listen.
We're given the perfect opportunity when life knocks us down and we've got our eyes glued to the cement, afraid and discouraged, determined to not look up but instead to sulk in the hurt.. we look down and we see our shadow and we're reminded.. we're not alone. Not for a second. He's there. He's in our shadow. He's inside of us. He's all around us. Every moment.