Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: March 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

Today Will Be The Best Day of My Life


     Did you wake up this morning with determination, or did you-- like me-- roll out of bed with a little apprehension and dread?  For most people, the everyday routine of life is not so glamourous.  We get easily bogged down by deadlines, schedules and demands.
     This is exactly what I was thinking when I opened my devotional the other day.  It was talking about living in a future oriented and heaven focused way.  The writer referenced a friend who said he woke up every morning, proclaiming the truth: "Today is going to be the best day of my life!"
     I'm not suggesting we should ignore reality and live with our heads in the clouds.  Yet, there is great power in the words we speak.  If we speak forth joy, we are going to direct our days toward living in joy.  In the same way, if we speak forth negativity and bitterness, that's what we are going to reap.
     As Christians, we are ambassadors of Christ.  We need to wake up everyday with the determination that we will live out that calling.  Today, tonight, this week: Will be the best in your life!  It's not because you will win a million dollars or finally land that promotion.  Nope.  They will be the best because you will live them to the glory of God.
     See, when we walk forward in the joy and freedom of Christ, we will live out the time we have in the way God has planned, and that will make it the best it can absolutely be.  So it might not be the best we can imagine, but it will be the best.
     Earlier this week, when I was really frustrated with being sick and not being able to run, I was reminded just how often God has already proved himself to me.
     He has never failed me.  In the trials that I've been sure will make my life worse-off, God has brought amazing blessing.  Death, divorce, anorexia and a parent's remarriage: They have all rocked me to the core.  Yet, when I look back, I see the great joy and wisdom and blessing God has brought me as a result of all these things.

(RELATED: Joy in God's Presence)
(RELATED: The Joy of God)

     So today might be a little rough.  You may get angry and blow your top.  Someone else might get angry with you and act poorly.  Either way, if you are a follower of Christ: You are an ambassador of His love, patience, joy, freedom and all that other good stuff.
     Take heart.  He has overcome the world and today, yes today, can be the best day of your life!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Atypical Monday

     The past few weeks have been so stressful, yet great at the same time!  I will address all the new updates in a post after this one.  Anyway, I figured today would be a good day to update the blog, seeing as it has been forever and I am sick with the flu.  And what better thing to update you with than the regaling story of how I spent yesterday in the ER?
     It started after our long run Sunday morning.  I was walking back to get ready for church and said hi to a friend.  "Don't get too close," she warned.  "I'm getting over the stomach flu."  
     I grimaced and wished her well in her recovery as walked outside.  Other than feeling really tired from my long run and my race on Saturday, I felt decent up until Sunday night when I got an awful stomach ache.  I don't get them often, so I figured I could just sleep it off and it would be no big deal.  Alas, I woke up around 2 a.m. and spent the rest of the night throwing up and sleeping on the dorm room floor so I was close to the trashcan.  I made it down to the bathroom around 6:30 a.m., but felt like I was going to pass out if I didn't lay down.  Thankfully, someone came in for a shower around 6:45 and helped me to walk back down to my room and wake up the RA.  
     From that point on, I didn't throw up anymore.  But the EMTs came because I was so dizzy that I couldn't sit up.  They gave me an IV to restore my fluids and loaded me onto the ambulance.  
     I used to hate shots.  Then, I got my blood-work done and shots weren't so bad.  I'm pretty sure I would take 50 shots over an IV in my arm.  I'll spare you the details, but I will say that my sweatshirt is covered in blood on the right side because the IV came out...
     At the hospital, they continued to give me fluids and potassium.  I guess all my electrolytes were really low, but my potassium especially.  I was released around noon and thankfully had a friend who was able to come pick me up-- me, in my bloody sweatshirt, pajamas and fuzzy socks :)
     I felt a lot better yesterday afternoon, but was really really tired and had a headache.  Today, after 10 hours of sleep and a 45 min. nap at 10, I still feel exhausted and sleepy.  My head still hurts a little too.  And I haven't eaten anything yet today because nothing sounds too appetizing.  
     Overall though, I'm just really frustrated.  I feel so much better, but am now allowed to run today.  I've been making so much progress that this setback is really really driving me crazy.  I'm also upset because I feel better so I feel like I should be pushing myself and I should be doing my hard workout today like usual.  While I'm not completely well, I'm not as sick as I was, so I feel guilty just sitting around and wasting time.  I hate it!  
     Perhaps this is another lesson in patience.  After all, I was telling a friend yesterday how I'm trying to remind myself that God is in control.  I wish I had that clear of a focus today.  Yet, I do know that there has not once been a time in my life when my plans were better than God's.  After the fact, I can always look back and see how God has brought so much blessing out of what I deemed "bad."  This is no different, right?  It's just really hard to view it that way when I'm in the middle of it.  It's especially hard since I was feeling on top of the world after a great workout Friday, my first race on Saturday that my dad and brother came to and a good long run on Sunday.  Now I just feel like a lazy, weak sickling.      But even as I write that, I'm reminded how God has been teaching me about my true identity.  It doesn't change, not based on anything.  If I run great one day and bad the next, that doesn't make me a "superb athlete" and then "not a real runner."  If I get good grades, that doesn't make me "worthy" just like doing something wrong doesn't make me a "failure."  I am always, 100 percent of the time: a child of God who is redeemed and made righteous.  I am defined by Him and not by the ever changing circumstances of this world.  
     This has been quite a random stream of my thoughts, but that's what you get when I'm writing while recovering from the flu.  However, I hope this has been encouraging for you as it has been for me.  Remember, God IS in control and He defines not only the circumstances but He defines who you are.  If you are going through something difficult, I advise you to write it down.  Journal it or write about it in a blog.  That way, when God does come through as sovereign and awesome, you will have the story to go along with it.  Have a great Tuesday!