Today Is the Day of New Possibilities


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No One Told Him He Couldn’t

 

We walk into the expansive gym- ceilings to the sky, open air echoing with the sounds of pure delight, a little chaos, and the pounding of small feet on the mats. My boys bound around, not a care in the world, looking for their next thrill.

 

As we walk around the gymnastics equipment, my oldest zeros in on a spring board and a bar. “Hanging makes me strong, Mom.” He insists. And so, I follow him over, my youngest trailing behind.

 

The older one, bounces and catches the bar, with little effort, his height an asset to the apparatus. But then, I notice my younger son eying it too. With confidence, he gets in line to wait his turn on the spring board. If my brother can do it, then certainly I can- he must be thinking.

 

He follows the pattern his older, taller brother followed… run, bounce, catch.

 

 Run, bounce… fall.

 

The pattern didn’t follow suit.

 

All smiles, he got back up, walking to the back of the line again- determined to try yet again. When his turn comes up, he runs, bounces… and… falls. Yet again, his pattern is different. He still smiles when falling. The thrill of the bounce and flying through the air is enough motivation to get him right back in line to try yet again.

 

Ten. Twenty. Then thirty times, my boy tries.

 

No one has told him he can’t. No one has told him he won’t get it, and so instinctively he knows, if I keep going, eventually I’ll get it.

 

I stand in awe at this tenacity. His frustration level didn’t rise.

 

He just kept trying.

 

A few times his fingertips hit the bar, and that was reward enough to keep trying. But, as I watched, I realized there was something I could do help. With his height, he needed the spring board just a touch closer to the bar. So, we made the small adjustment.

 

Run, bounce, fall. Again and again. Until… Run, bounce, SWING. Run, bounce, SWING.

 

Smiles a mile wide, we laughed together as he hung there like a monkey. You bet I celebrated when he caught it, again and again.

And you better believe I celebrated when he kept trying and fell.

 

Because it wasn’t the accomplishment that thrilled me, but his confidence.  His confidence that eventually, if he kept trying, he would get it.

 

When Were You Told You Couldn’t?

 

And that’s the thing, as kids we did things, we practiced and practiced. We tried and tired until somewhere along the way we were told, or we told ourselves that we COULDN’T.

 

We were all artists in first grade, but by seventh some are and some aren’t. We were all ninjas climbing ladders, and monkey bars in third grade, but by ninth, some are athletes, and some aren’t. We are all learners in kindergarten, but somewhere along the way, some are deemed “book smart” and some just… “have other strengths.”

 

But the reality is God is always about doing new things in us, bringing out new fruit, shaping us for new endeavors. He never says, we can't, or we shouldn't try because... we might not succeed.

 

The God of New Possibility

 

Even in the midst of failure, and especially when it seems like there are parts of us that are dying, even then he is the God who whispers… “keep going, I’m by your side!”

As we see in the book of Isaiah, God is the God who brings new possibilities out of the dead ends and the impossible, and the things we were told we just… couldn’t.

 

“For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

 

 

Don’t you see? It’s not our doing that brings the newness, the fruit, or the possible, out of the impossible. It’s God!

 

The fruit isn’t always the point of growth, because that God’s doing. Our job is to keep trying, keep getting back in line for another shot at the spring board, and to pay attention to where God might be aiming us.

 

The fruit is a by-product of the effort. Sure, success can be an accomplishment, but not the ONLY accomplishment.

 

While it’s true that people are given different gifts and talents, that doesn’t mean we can’t grow other skills; and that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t try new things. In fact, because God is the God who brings new possibilities and new fruit to once dead talents, skills, and abilities, We better be on the lookout for the NEW things that God is growing in us.

 

 

You Can Always Try Something New

 

Remember your life is not static, not set in stone. You can always try something new.

 

Whether you succeed or not, I don’t think is the purpose of trying.

 

Seeing the growth of who you became in the midst of a project, may be the point, regardless of whether the project was a success or a failure.

Who you became in the midst of falling over and over again, may be just what God wants from your efforts. And our God is the One who is always about making us into who he created us to be.

 

 

The God of Endurance and Encouragement

 

So today, if you’re discouraged with the amount of time and care and energy you’ve put into making a change in your life, or forging a new path, or just digging deep into the things God has called to you in this season, but you don’t see the fruit of your labor…. just yet, be encouraged.

 

With each new step, you take you have a God who walks beside you. Yes, celebrating the times you catch the bar, but also celebrating the effort you gave, the attempts you made, and for showing up to your actual life in the first place.

 

For he is the God who gives encouragement AND endurance.

 

He’s by your side today, this week, this month as you endeavor to live a faithful life. He’s by your side, cheering you on today, this week, this month as you work towards fulfilling a dream, or making a change, or raising a forgotten relationship.

 

Keep going today, friend- for you have a whole crowd of people in line behind you trying new things, seeking to be faithful, and longing to see God in the midst of it all.

 

Keep going today, friend!

 

For you have a God who is not watching far off in the stands, but is right next to you, whispering, “Keep Going. You can do this. Be faithful. I’m doing a new thing in the midst of the process.” 


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If you're longing to find meaning in the midst of the mundane in your own life, I have a gift written just for you. My e- book called Jesus and Spit: Seeing the Miracle in the Mundane is yours FREE when you sign up here. Join me on this journey to discover the miracles God has in your ordinary life! 

Your Actual Life is the Only Life You Have... So, LIVE it!

Photo credit: Eric Patnoudes  unsplash.com

Photo credit: Eric Patnoudes unsplash.com

What if I told you that you already have the life you long for? You know, the one you dream about? Would you believe me? Chances are, if you haven’t paid much attention to your life, you probably wouldn’t believe me.

 We all have expectations for ourselves, and our lives; we have dreams we seek to attain.  We have images of who we think we should be. In and of themselves these are not bad things- these dreams. They can make us seek to live differently than we are, and make us change in some good ways.

But when something that isn’t a reality becomes your focus, you lose the ability to accept the life you have. In my experience, when chasing a life you think you want, you tend towards living a hustled, worn-out, and discontented existence.

Expectations for a life we SHOULD be living will always rob us for the life we actually have.

Here’s the thing: I’m all about crafting an intentional life, making time and putting your resources towards the things that MATTER. But in order to do this we need to stop trying to live in the should’s and start living in NOW.

 

 How the Fear of Missing Out Robs You

Living to meet the expectations of SHOULD will always rob you of the heart of why you are doing something. SHOULD is an external expectation put on you, often by someone else, and sometimes put on you by… you.

Maybe, you are an excellent marketer, but your parents or spouse or mentors believe you SHOULD work your way up to senior management. So, you work with these expectations weighing on your shoulders, each day, unable to fully put yourself into your work as a marketer, because you’re striving for something beyond your real actual life, NOW.

Or you believe that to truly live out your faith, you have to something big and public FOR God. So, you live with the burden that you’re never enough, and are never going to match up to the ‘great’ people who have lived sacrificially. You fill your life with seemingly good things, but all under the guise of needing to do something public and great for God.

And then here’s what happens: Maybe you’ve lived into that SHOULD. Maybe you work hard, and finally get what you’ve been longing for- that job, that house, a baby, a marriage. And then you find that reality doesn’t match your dreams of what it would be like when you finally ARRIVED. So, you start longing for the next stage, and the next thing, and you miss what’s right in front of you.

Not only is the fear of missing out real, it’s so real that it can rob you from living your actual life. Somewhere along the way, we stopped believing in the power of our actual lives. When we don’t believe in the power of our everyday, ordinary lives, we forsake the gifts right in front of us.

The life you long to live is possible. You long to live connected to those around you, present to the joys and the challenges of the day, and wide awake to the lessons that inevitably come in life. This is possible, and not only that, but it’s possible in the life you have right now.

 

You Don't Need Someone Else's Life

If you’re like me, and many people I know, somewhere along the way you started believing that in order to truly live, you had to have a DIFFERENT life- like someone else’s life. You envied their life, or lived in shame and guilt at the life you actually have, because well, it wasn’t theirs… it… was… yours.

But you don’t need someone else’s life or the lives you see on Instagram. 

You need to live your life.  Your actual life is where God longs to form you. His formation of you, happens not in someone else’s life, but in YOURS. In the heartache and anxiety, in the joy and laughter.

You see, the people God surrounds you with are the people God wants to use to form you. Not someone down the road, not the image of the person in your mind. But the actual people. We gloss over this so much.

We think we need to have different friends, a different boss, different kids, or a different family- because those in our lives right now just aren’t the people we thought they would be. We think “this is all there is?” And miss the power of these relationships to be the material for our formation, our being drawn towards God, and our ability to live wide awake.

 

Comparison Is Robbing You of Your Life

Your actual life is the only life you have. So, why are you longing for someone else’s? I’ll let you in on a little secret…their life isn’t as good as their pictures looks- just like yours isn’t just like the life you have in your mind.

But, giving up these images- this comparison to other people’s life is key towards living YOUR real life. We can’t live our real lives, when we’re constantly comparing and seeking to live up to someone else’s expectations for ourselves.

So, give up the comparison.

It’s hard at first, doing this. But starting to live your actual life means you start paying attention to the life right in front you- something you can’t do when you’re seeking to live up to an unattainable expectation, or when you constantly tell yourself someone else’s life is better or more fulfilled than yours.

You have the life you long for. But you have to accept your actual life for what it is- in all its mundane ordinariness. Living someone else’s life, or someone else’s illusion of your life, will always rob you of the goodness of your real life. So, start living contented.

Living contented starts today. You can do it.

Your actual life, can become the life you’ve always wanted-when held, turned over and examined for what it is- a gift through which you are changed, formed, and used for the sake of others.

 

 

 

 

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If you're longing to find meaning in the midst of the mundane in your own life, I have a gift written just for you. My e- book called Jesus and Spit: Seeing the Miracle in the Mundane is yours FREE when you sign up here. Join me on this journey to discover the miracles God has in your ordinary life!