If falling asleep was an Olympic sport, I’d be the outstanding champion.
There’s photo evidence of me falling asleep sitting up with a cup of water in my hand, in the back lounge of a loud bus, while reading a book out loud to Brendon, in the back of a van during a mobile geology tour in college (oops)… And during movies…
I fall asleep EVERY time. Maybe I have selective narcolepsy only for when I’m watching a movie? Of all the movies I’ve attempted to watch with family and friends, I could probably list the ones I remember with my two hands. I’m not a movie snob, it’s just that knowing I’m going to be sitting down in a comfortable, dark room for a few hours makes my body start relaxing. Before long, the intro music is over; I know the character’s names and vaguely what’s going on. The screen is getting a bit fuzzy as my eyes flutter in a half-awake state. I’m fighting to stay strong (AKA awake). All of a sudden, I’m waking up an hour later trying to pretend I’ve been awake the whole time… As if I could fool my husband who has been taking pictures of me with my mouth hanging open. 😉
“About Time” was different. Has anyone seen that movie? DANG, people. If you haven’t, go find it right now. If I stayed awake, you know it’s good.
Although I won’t give the story away, I will tell you that one of the characters learns that he has the ability to relive many of his days all over again. In the beginning, he just uses that ability to fix mistakes that he has made. Along the way, he learns more from his dad who has the same ability. His dad advises him to relive every single day over again just to have a better attitude because life is a gift and life is short. As he experiences his days a second time, he intentionally makes eye contact, smiles at strangers, pays attention to grief, hugs his wife longer, plays with his kids on the floor…
Man, seeing him relive his days made Brendon and I think (and sob)—if we had that chance, what would we do differently? And let’s live our days the first time as if we’re going back in time to fully live it.
By the end of the movie, I wanted my life to change. I realized living our best days the first time means living with a Heaven Perspective.
Last week at church, our pastor said that every time we’re frustrated, we’re ultimately just wanting heaven.
When we’re upset because of injustice and war, we want heaven on earth.
When we fight with people we love and walk away angry, we want heaven.
When we are in physical pain and learn that people we care about have cancer, we cry because we want heaven.
We are longing for our forever home.
Since I’ve been more aware of heaven, my to-do list seems less consuming; I don’t feel inconvenienced when I give my time away.
So this is our last post together. Man. I just keep asking myself: What’s more to say? What could I say in my proverbial graduation speech that might make one more mark in your mind or make a difference in your day? What are the thoughts God has put on my mind for you sweet girls?
This idea is something I’m learning the importance of right now in my life that helps me experience heaven on earth in a practical way:
To be healthy and kind, I must pay attention to when I say “yes” and “no”.
Those two words have the ability to change our lives, to shape our days, and to affect our hearts.
Lately when I’ve felt run-ragged from working in the sun, making too many commitments in the afternoons and evenings, and filling up the weekends with plans away from home, I’ve realized that I had addiction in my life: saying yes.
Yes to good things. To good jobs. To doing errands with my husband. To hanging out with amazing friends. To taking care of my home. To growing food in my yard. To helping organize events. To writing on a blog. To moving the chicken coop again.
I’m learning that being everything to everyone is not actually possible or satisfying. Putting 100 hours of activities into a day that only ever had 24 is taxing on my body. Stillness and silence disappear quickly. But I’m slowly rediscovering it. In a book I’m reading called “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist, she says,
“But it’s in the silence that you can finally allow yourself to be seen, and it’s in the being seen that healing and groundedness can begin. When I practice silence just for a few minutes, when I practice allowing myself to be seen and loved by the God who created me from dust, I start to carry an inner stillness with me back into the noise, like a secret. When you begin to carry God’s love and true peace deep within your actual soul like a treasure chest, you realize that you don’t have to fling yourself around the planet searching for those things outside yourself. You only have to go back into the stillness to locate it. That treasure you’ve been searching for was there all the time.”
Part of my quiet stillness is reflecting back to Jesus’ answer when He was asked “What is the priority commandment?”
‘Love the Lord your God with your heart soul mind and strength.’
One thing. Love God. Every bit of the rest of it will come into place. We will become surrendered women ready for the next thing, healed, whole, healthy, kind. It may take one day or one hundred years, but I’m discovering that this journey is worth taking.