Living Abundantly in the Midst

IMG_5976I have a question for you. What will you do today? Will you do what you were designed to do? Or will you do what seems like a million little things that need to be done but that keep you from doing the one thing that tugs on your heart?

Because I don’t know about you, but far too often I never get to that thing I want to do. That thing that speaks to me deep in my soul. It’s there and it calls out to me. But I am distracted.

Or perhaps I am simply in the midst.

In the midst of living out my life. My life that is filled with joy and despair, hope and fear, beauty and chaos, longing and prayer. My life for which I was created, designed and to which I was called by my Creator. My abundant life.

This is my one life. These are the days that I have been given. Today is the day that I have; tomorrow is not promised (Proverbs 27).

How then shall I live?

Shall I live in fear? In despair? In chaos? Or shall I live in pursuit of Him, heeding His call upon my heart?

It can seem that life is a struggle, but really it is simply a living in the midst. It is about the extraordinary in the ordinary. It is about seizing the abundant life we have been promised (John 10:10).

Know that as you live in the midst, you are not alone. We all are sojourners in the midst of a journey, in the midst of a vision, in the midst of God’s creation. And the good news is that even when we miss a beat or we are distracted by the million little things that clamor for our time and attention, we are always but a whisper away from God’s faithfulness to us and to the dream He gave us.

His promises assure us that we are not alone and that the prayers we breathe out in our moments of fear or uncertainty or frustration are welcome. In fact, they are necessary so that we do not fall prey to the lie that life is just a getting by existence. Therefore, when we find ourselves in the midst of the little things, in the midst of life’s circumstances and daily distractions, we do not give up who we are created to be; it is our true north.

When we lose sight of what we’re doing or where we’re trying to go, God guides us. He goes before us and He draws us forward by those whispers in our heart that nudge us toward becoming who He created us to be. He pours over us and into us the abundant life He promised.

That’s why it’s okay to leave the dishes in the sink or the clutter on the living room floor or put aside whatever other daily chores need doing, at least long enough for you to reconnect with your life and with the Giver of life.

Your life is more than the chores and tasks you have to do. Life in the midst includes those seemingly mundane things, but it is not just those things. Take a moment and listen to your heart, to its whispers and to God’s nudging upon it, and it will reveal the whole of your life. The extraordinary, abundant, overflowing-with-blessing whole of your life in the midst.

So, I ask you, what are you going to do today with this day that you’ve been given?

It’s the Perfect Time to Do Something

IMG_5928Hello. My name is Judith and I’m a recovering perfectionist. Maybe you are, too. I’ve spent more time than I can quantify chasing perfection and I have little to show for it. Because the thing about perfection is that it is elusive.

But more than that, it’s hobbling. It will hinder you from creating or pursuing the things you desire, the passions and dreams God has placed in your heart: the relationships you’re meant to have and the life you’re meant to live.

In fact perfection often will keep you from even trying, from beginning the things you know in your heart and your spirit that you were created to do.

Perfection has gripped me and held me fast in its lie too often. I have written words only to delete them or put them aside. I have formed friendships only to let them languish. I have faced difficulties in my marriage only to blame them on my spouse.

All in the name of perfection. All because perfection created standards in my mind that nothing and no one could reach.

Too many dreams and desires and lives are sacrificed on the altar of perfection and it’s time to set the record straight: perfection is a lie perpetuated by the enemy so that we do not realize our God-given potential and ability and talent.

But here’s the good news: It’s not too late to begin again and leave perfectionism to itself, to the enemy.

We do not have to fall prey continuously to fear and lives of desperation. We can live boldly and we can live abundantly. It’s our choice.

I like the way The Living Bible translates the verse in Ecclesiastes about watching the wind and the weather: If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done (Ecclesiastes 11:4).

There are no perfect conditions. There are no perfect people. There are no dreams without risks and hurdles and there are no relationships without difficulty. There are no lives without struggles and trials.

But there is One who is perfect: the God who planted those dreams in your heart and who gave you the vision for your life and relationships, who gave you the vision for your business or your career or your art or your parenting or your community. And He is waiting for you to choose to try, to live, to create, to hope, to shine, to thrive.

What you create won’t be perfect, but it isn’t meant to be. But today is a perfect time for you to choose, to do those things you feel drawn to in your heart.

God created you to do things that only you will do in this world during your imperfect life. He knows the stumbles you’ll experience and the mistakes you’ll make and the failures you’ll face. But He knows also the wonder you’ll experience and the success that you’ll have and the ways your life will touch the lives of others. It’s far beyond what you can see or know or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

And it’s possible. In Him, through Him, with Him, it’s possible (Matthew 19:26).

It’s possible if you’re willing to leave perfection behind and embrace the One who is perfect and who can multiply and redeem every effort you make in partnership with Him.

Let’s not sacrifice any more dreams or relationships on the altar of perfection. Instead, let’s do the good works that God ordained each of us to do for Him in this world.

So, I’m curious. Has perfectionism ever kept you from doing something you know you were meant to do?