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Meaningful Words Begin With Living A Meaningful Life

Live a great storyLiving a meaningful life is a worthy pursuit, wouldn’t you say? But exactly how does one define “meaningful”? For me, it goes something like this: Embracing the eternal {God, relationships, the gospel} so tightly, so fully, that the temporal {“stuff”, foolish arguments, stepped-on-toes} are gasping for air.

The desire to live more intentionally was the catalyst for a recent change — a reset if you will. Before making our move toward mountain views, life had begun to feel frantic. Deadlines, to-do’s, self-inflicted pressure, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget the bumper-to-bumper traffic just outside our front door⎯all culminating to create one frazzled female.

It was there, in the midst of chaos, that I sensed God telling me to focus more on living and less on writing. Not that my writing needed to decrease but rather, take its proper placement in my life. While I believe writing is a calling God has given me, I am certain it is not my only {or most important} calling. Now that we live closer to one set of grandchildren, I want to be available as much as possible for them. I also want to be available for family, friends, and neighbors, including my drop-by buddy of 20+ years, Becky {who now lives only two doors up the road!}. It feels good and right when I joyfully set aside writing to spend time with her when she drops by for an afternoon visit.

Before our move, I had a tendency to see most things as an interruption {sigh} when writing. It’s an embarrassing admission but embracing the eternal⎯living a more meaningful life⎯includes cultivating a teachable, pliable heart/mind, a willingness to not only face what the Spirit reveals but to also move forward {in His power} to turn in a different direction. And to turn in a different direction, one must slow down.

A cup of teaFew things in life feel slow especially if you’re a mother of young children or scurrying to build a career or a dozen other reasons. But I believe there are a few things we can do to slow down our inner pace in order to hold this God-given life in reverential awe:

  • Before the feet hit the floor, spend a few moments thanking God for the gift of sleep. Sometimes I also pray that God will help me be attentive to the eternal, meaningful things that day, and to release the rest. Because if you’re like me, you can sometimes take on things that are good {church work, helping at your children’s school, etc.} but perhaps they’re not the best choice for that particular day. Only God knows so staying open to His will automatically helps us to move through our day with more intention.
  • Schedule “rest stops” throughout your day. Many of us grew up believing that if we weren’t always doing something then we weren’t achieving anything. Wrong. Statistics show that those who choose to take brief respites in the form of a mini-nap, a savored cup of tea, or simply pausing to listen to instrumental music, are ultimately more rested and creative than those who choose to treat life more like a treadmill.
  • Harness the power of silence. Turn off the radio in your car when you’re driving. If it’s terribly uncomfortable, start with just a minute or two. Or escape to the bathroom {or better yet, the bathtub!}, take a walk around the block, curl up with a captivating novel. Learning to embrace silence is a gift we give to ourselves and ultimately, to others.

Learning to live a more meaningful life can fuel our calling {or callings}. It is choosing to live from the abundance of life rather than settling for the leftovers.

What does living a meaningful life mean to you? Do share!

I pray that you and yours will have a blessed Thanksgiving. Know this: I am ever so thankful for you!

Simple {Meaningful} Ways to Celebrate CHRISTmas…Day 17

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 17 }

We’re all familiar with the beautiful hymn, Silent Night. Tonight, let’s put this into practice by unplugging all electronic distractions—TV’s, phones, iPads, laptops, etc.

Silence is often seen as intrusion in our culture today but in reality, it is our most gracious guest. 

Embrace—enjoy. Savor conversations, dust off favorite books, play board games, break out the puzzle or break out in song!

What will be the most difficult thing for you to unplug tonight? 

“Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not
in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of
others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to
others.”
– Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: They Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging


SILENCE: 30 Days of Wonder Challenge

DAY 7: SILENCE

God often chooses to reveal the wonder of Himself in quiet moments. Sit in silence for twenty unbroken minutes. Set an alarm, if need be, so you know how much time has passed. Keep paper and pen nearby to write down any fluttering thoughts. Embrace the silence then invite God to speak. Reflect on what you hear in this posture of listening. Pray that God reminds you of people for whom you can pray. Ask God to bring scriptures to mind that he wants you to consider. Enjoy the wondrous silence of just being in God’s presence.  

– Margaret Feinburg, Wonderstruck
Tiny House on the Hill

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