Living a Present Life

When you are laying in bed thinking of tomorrow, what comes to mind? I see life in checklist form. I make a physical or mental list and stick to it. In fact, it actually really bothers me if I have outstanding items left unchecked at the end of the day. I’m task oriented, what can I say? People see my organization as a gift (which it definitely has its perks). It may sound strange, but I sometimes find myself being a slave to my checklist and not enjoying parts of my day because there were only seen as a small part of my mound of tasks. I don’t know if any of you can relate to this, but this can REALLY take away from enjoying the right now and the important moments in life. It can also put a giant damper on the fun things we get to do throughout the day!

image1-3Life is about finding balance. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore a checked off checklist, colorful sticky note reminders, and my pristine planner! Sometimes though, we need days to give a pronounced shrug and toss the lists aside. Life is flying by and I don’t want to miss soaking in the important moments of because I was worried about an unimportant detail. I mean seriously, in the grand scheme of things what does it matter if my Pinterest recipe didn’t turn out like the picture or the laundry didn’t get finished? As long as I’m surrounded by friends and loved ones and we  make it fun, who cares!

With being task oriented and a planner, it also easy to be constantly future focused. From a little girl I was always looking ahead wanting time to speed up. Now I find myself on my heels trying to slow life down. I want to be someone who is looking forward, but not focused on it to the extent that I’m missing out on living life right now. I feel like I blinked and my little brother is graduating from high school, many of my friends are married and some with children, and I’m officially finished with school and into the “real world” now. That is CraZy! In thinking about all of this, I have developed some tips for the task oriented, detail oriented, planners like myself to help you make sure you are able to enjoy the right now.

image2-2Be Present: Be intentional about putting down your phone/computer/tablet or work tasks.
There is nothing more that will cause you miss out on life than not being present. I know because I have been learning this lesson the hard way. Instead of participating in conversation, you’re buried in your phone. By the time you look up from your tablet you’ve missed out on the funny story or hearing your grandpa tell about a lesson learned. In the end, it’s being present that truly matters, making your own memories that will last and that you’ll want to share with your own kids someday. Time is so precious people. Let’s be intentional about making ourselves present around our family and friends. Let’s choose to experience life rather than just view it as a bystander through the screens of our phone.

IMG_0908Value Relationship: Make time for meaningful conversation with friends & family
Building meaningful relationships in life is priceless. We were all created to want relationship and called to be witnesses  in this life. How can we effectively minister to those around us if we have no depth of relationship with anyone? Valuing meaningful conversation makes room for ministry. It makes room for God, for love, and allows you the opportunity to really speak into someone’s life.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Most of the time the things we fret over were never even noticed or remembered. One of my favorite teachers at Bible College once said that we have to recognize our priorities. If we are doing what God has called us to do, than its OK if the house isn’t pristine at all times. (I’m a super clean person, so this really spoke to me.) In college, I also faced anxiety about receiving all A’s. Once I realized that I wouldn’t even remember that econ exam as time went on it helped take the pressure off. Will you even remember the things you are stressing over right now a week later? A year later? Francis Chan illustrates it quite well. He held one end of a long, winding rope with seemingly no end. On the end he was holding, the first inch of the rope was painted red. This represented our lives on this earth while the miles of endless rope represented eternity. In the light of eternity, let’s keep our focus on what’s really important and run our race not sweating the stuff you won’t remember next week.

image1Make it Fun: Find a way to make everyday tasks fun and fresh; change it up! Change the order, talk to God, listen to music, do tasks together, make it a race or game, have an attitude of gratitude. I’ve been reading a lot of WW2 novels lately. They’ve reiterated to me that we have SO much to be grateful for friends…way more than we realize. We live in a super blessed time. Having an attitude of gratitude and a servant heart will cause a perspective change from HAVING to do something to GETTING to do something. It allows us to make things fun!!

Here are some of my favorite songs on Spotify right now!

Sunday Morning by Maroon 5

It Girl by Jason Derulo

Good Good Father by Zealand Worship

Ever Be by Natalie Grant

Joywave – Tongues (ft. Kopps) (RAC Mix)

Set aside “You” Time: When do you feel pampered (bubble bath and a good book anyone?) I’m a total nerd. I love reading and bubble baths. I’m a thinker too, so if I have time to be quiet, read, day dream, journal or just talk it out and be real with God about things on my heart (preferably in the sunshine at the lake or on a beach somewhere…haha just kidding, about anywhere cozy or with a view will do!) Psalm 46:10 says to “Be still and know that I am God”. In the midst of a busy week going non stop it’s essential to take time to be in your place of peace and comfort.

image3Make Time for God: Most important of them all – you’ll never experience true peace without Him! spending time in God’s Word is MOST important. How can you ever truly experience peace, serve and love, listen and care about others and their needs, and be satisfied in the right now without Christ being a part of your life. How can we be an accurate reflection of our heavenly Father if we honestly don’t know him for ourselves, we just know hearsay. We can never know or understand love or sacrifice. We can never have assurance of our future or have promises to stand on when things do get crazy and things don’t get done. Getting to know God let’s us know things will be ok! It allows us to start fresh every day. Nothing can soothe a heart better than time with the Lord.

Nobody will ever get this life perfect. Thankfully, we have a Savior who was perfect for us. We are just stewards of the life given to us. Let’s make the most of it and let the peace of God rule in our hearts, not our checklists. Checklists, sticky notes, and fun pens and planners are just extremely fun tools to help us along the way and keep us on track, and what great tools they are! I especially am loving Emily Ley’s Simplified Planners. Emily gets this concept that we are not called to be perfect but to live in grace…to do our best to focus on what matters and not stressing over the rest. Check out her story! Walk in balace and know your limits and priorites. We have one life to live on this earth. I hope that my tips helped put things in perspective and help you to value the little moments. Love you all and I’m praying that you have a super amazing week ahead, full of peace, blessing, and love!!

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