“My life will really start when…”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that thought, finished by many different phrases, like “I get married” or “I have my own house” or “I have kids” or “We’re not in debt anymore.” It’s still really difficult to chase those thoughts out of my head, but allowing them to affect my outlook on life is detrimental! I’ve realized that these thoughts make me complacent. They cause me to think that I don’t need to change until these life starting moments happen. They cause unrealistic expectations, and therefore, disappointment. They allow life to pass me by.
Life is happening right now, no matter where I am.
I make excuses in my head to put things off. Saying that I’ll start cleaning my house better when my commute is shorter so I’m home longer is an excuse. Deciding that I’ll contact that friend when I have a week that isn’t so busy is an excuse. Telling myself that I’ll take better care of my body after I have kids for their sake is an excuse (and I’m probably lying to myself).
I’ve had this realization for years now, but it is still so difficult not to think this way! But tomorrow is not promised. If I live my life just waiting for it to “truly begin,” and my life is taken from me unexpectedly, my whole life is lived in vain. I will not reach my potential. I will not serve God the way that I need to. I may feel that God has called me to do something specific with my life. That’s amazing! But think about all the time left in our lives that we’re not doing that specific thing. We can serve him and answer his other callings for us all throughout life! I don’t want to miss those opportunities because I’m waiting for my big moment instead of noticing what’s going on right in front of me. It’s something that I’m still working on. I have to remind myself of this all the time!
Focus on the Family was talking to the author of this book on the radio yesterday. It’s called Loving My Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall. The author describes her nine month journey of focusing on the things in life that she wants to improve. She focuses on changing things right now because tomorrow is not promised! I thought to myself, “I’d like to read that someday. I think it will apply more when I have kids, so maybe I’ll buy it then.” Then I realized that I was allowing those someday thoughts to take over! I was telling myself that I’ll get better at living in the right now, in the future! So I just ordered the book. It’s on Amazon if you’re wondering. I’m really hoping it will help me make some changes in my here and now!
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them-for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil-this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.