Live for TODAY

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” 

― Bill Watterson

Y’all, it’s taken me four decades to learn this lesson. And when I say learn I mean I’m better than I was, I’m working on it, and some days I actually do this.  I wrote this post after a time in my life when I was making progress. Two steps forward, one step back….

I am the girl who plans lessons weeks ahead, cannot sit down and enjoy the movie with her husband because she’s doing x, y, or z in order to make tomorrow easier. I’m the one who has missed the moment, and tried to enjoy it afterwards. And I am wrong. I’m all kinds of wrong. 

I remember a few years ago when my mom had a heart attack. It was the end of the school year. I was spending long days at the hospital, calling and texting family with updates, running up to school to clean up, leave  more substitute plans, and pack up my room for summer break. Three great things came out of that season.  (1) Praise the Lord, my mom is fine. (2) I learned to accept genuine offers of help. (3) And I had to start taking one day at a time. For the first time in my life, I looked at the day’s events and not into the next day, next week, or next month. This wasn’t because I finally understood the wisdom of living in the moment. Rather, it was the only way I could survive the avalanche of emotions and things screaming to be done at home and at work. I vividly recall walking down the hall of the hospital’s third floor with my head down.  I’d left my mom in CCU in order to grab a sandwich. As I walked, I stared at the tiles on the floor, forcing myself to look at the next hour only and what needed to be done. It was a battle! 

As the years have passed, I’ve lost that lesson. I want it back! 

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  Matthew 6:31-34 ESV (emphasis mine) 

It’s always wise to turn to The Word,  isn’t it? 

My October to-do list is ridiculous. . Feeling overwhelmed, I’m turning to God and He is graciously reminding me to look at today and what needs to be accomplished today. Tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow. My mind rebels, but I know this is the way to live. Deep breath. Okay, Lord, here we go. 

How do you deal with your busy life? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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Rules for Life

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. ~Unknown 

It’s no secret I adore lists. I try, y’all.  I do.  I can’t seem to help myself, though, so here is one more. As I share my rules for life, I would truly love to hear yours. 

  1. Forgive. People are going to hurt you, lie about you, cheat you. Forgive quickly and move on. YOU will be happier. 
  2. Celebrate the success of others. If you’re spending your time being envious or comparing your life to someone else’s you’re wasting your time and losing your joy. 
  3. Do things you fear, but don’t allow anyone push you into something. 
  4. Love.  Love matters most. Love God. Love yourself. Love your people. Look for things to love in your routines, job, daily commute. 
  5. God. Spouse. Children. Family. Work. Keep your priorities in line. 
  6. You really do have time for what matters. 
  7. Find a hobby you can lose yourself in. It’s great therapy and better for you than numbing out with food, drugs, or alcohol. 
  8. Practice gratitude. 
  9. Being kind, treating others with kindness and dignity…well, that may matter more than anything else. 
  10. Build routines to make life flow smoothly (regular bedtime, exercise schedule, lay your clothes out the night before), but don’t be afraid to deviate. 
  11. Understand that you are responsible for your happiness. Everyone has bad stuff. Choose how you deal with the bad stuff. 
  12. Your words have tremendous power. Grasp this and you’ve latched on to an eternal truth. 
  13. When you find people who comfort and encourage you in tough times, spur you on in times of growth, and truly, joyfully celebrate your triumphs…hold on to these friends forever. They’re rare. They’re precious. They’re worth more than gold. And, y’all…these are your people. 
  14. Express your appreciation. You have people in your life that you love, count on, appreciate. Make sure they know if. Hubby and I make it a point to thank each other multiple times daily for “silly” things like taking out the trash, folding the laundry, or making the coffee. 
  15. Fight to keep your peace and joy. Don’t let others rob you of them. 
  16. Write thank you notes. 
  17. Sit in silence for a few minutes at least once a day. 
  18. Laugh. Be silly. Have fun!
  19. Spend time in The Word. 
  20. Reply. If someone texts, calls, writes, or emails they deserve a reply. 
  21. Less is more. This seems to be true for words, jewelry, makeup, and sharing opinions. 
  22. Simplifying is hard, but worth it. 
  23. Seek understanding. 
  24. Try to bless someone at least once a day. 
  25. Observe the Sabbath. 

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list.  I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please  comment. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

Got TWITTER? Tweet with me! @julielclarke

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