|On a cool trail at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve|
Spend money on doing things together, rather than on things.
This could be one of the mantras of my life. I passionately believe in truly LIVING in the PRESENT because TODAY is all we are ever promised. TIME is my love language.
So off we went this weekend, the last hoorah before school starts....camping in Petoskey, just Jeremy and I. We LOVE nature, and Michigan is one of the best places to live for outdoor lovers hands down. We had a BLAST...hiking, running, swimming, mini golf, rock hunting (yup, I'm a nerd that way), and lots and lots of awesome foodie stops.
And all the while, I sense that THIS is the heart of the Father. To KNOW Him is to be PRESENT with Him, at all times, in all things.
Ecc. 5: 18-20 The Message....
"After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it. That's the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live."
My favorite part......."He deals out JOY in the present." Not yesterday, and not in a few minutes or next year. God gives us joy NOW in whatever we are DOING now. EVEN if the PRESENT.....well, to put it bluntly......sucks. Because sometimes it does.
I dont have enough time to get everything done in one day,
a parent or co-worker has wrongly judged me and I want to SCREAM,
I am exhausted after teaching all day and I come home and the house is a disaster and I'm tired and irritated and all I want is a nap but instead I have to do something else,
a friend has disappointed me and I feel like the loneliest person on the planet,
this adoption is taking WAY too long,
You wake up to THIS outside your tent (true story from this weekend)
Are things perfect in my life? ha ha. That's hilarious. Let me tell you, I know about waiting. I know about hoping. It is unbelievably hard to get pictures of your two little boys every 5 weeks, growing up without you in another country. It is hard to watch all your friends post pictures of their kids and families constantly on facebook and spend time with their families. It is hard to repeat the same answer over and over "They say it will be 6 more months." It is hard to go camping, for the 13th year in a row, with just each other, no kids yet. And to think about spending another Christmas without kids?...I can't even bare to think that thought.
BUT despite the raging storm going on outside (or inside!) your tent, there are NO stipulations, no requirements, no circumstances, and no exceptions in this verse from the Bible. It just says, He gives out joy in the present. NOW. Whatever NOW is presently for you, He will give you joy in it, if you accept it. Ask Him for it!
I have to hang on to this promise, daily (ok, sometimes hourly). He gives JOY in the present. He knows my deepest fears, sadness, and pain, and yet He is only concerned with right now, one day at a time, and He wants to give me joy WHILE I'm in it. You too.
So, THAT is how I endeavor to live. NOW. We are NOT promised tomorrow. Forget the worries, and put on the mexican hat, or act like pirates and be silly! I want to spend my time and my resources, living fully wide awake Presently! One day at a time, thanking Him during my evening run, on my way to school, while correcting math papers, while washing the dishes, while camping without kids, again, and while unpacking a soppy wet smelly tent. Thankful for it all and endeavoring to choose joy while doing it.
He fills my heart with joy!
Oh and encase you didn't catch that...yup. 6 more months.