Thursday Themes is an ongoing series of posts focused on given topics or passages of scripture relevant to adoption, knowing God, and learning to live simply and love radically. Please feel free to tweet theme suggestions to me @MamaMcAfee or leave a suggestion in the comments section.
In the Live Simply series, we're exploring what it means to live simply in every aspect of our lives. Living simply is a way of life that radically redefines how you see the world and how you interact with it. It's almost never easy, but always rewarding. And at the end of the day, those who choose to pursue simple, I believe, will be far better people for it and will know God in a much deeper way than when complex got in the way.
Living simply is about taking it one day at a time.
Since I first began my new job, it--if I'm honest--has been a major source of stress for me.
The first few months were about training, figuring out the culture of the organization and trying to remember all I learned way back when in my social work classes about case management.
The next few months were getting used to case management and trying to make sure I stayed filled up as I was pouring out with my clients.
The last month has been about dealing with major changes in our grant which have in a lot of ways meant starting back at square one and have packed on the stress from the top down.
Yesterday was probably one of the most stressful days I have had since joining the organization, and I know I made it worse on myself. I made it worse by my complaints. I made it worse by my gossip. I made it worse by my procrastination. I made it worse by my choice to be miserable.
I know that yesterday I was not the best me I can be.
And I wish I had maybe even tried a little to be some version of the best me I can be.
My best days are the days which start from my faded orange chair in the early morning gray.
I know there is a difference in the days which begin there and the mornings I start from my comfy, toasty-oasty bed.
I know the mornings from my chair start with humility. They start with amazement and awe. They start with worship and prayer. They start in relationship. But the mornings from my bed start with a complaint. They start with sluggishness and yearning for more toasty-oasty. They start with irritability. They start where the last day left off.
What I know is that I need a few stolen moments in the stillness and the early morning to find my way back to the me God created me to be. To find the stillness within me. To find the place where I'm at my best because he's at his best within me. I know I need those stolen moments alone with him to be able to set aside yesterday and a hundred yesterday's before it in order to live today as only today. I know I need those stolen moments to set aside the cares and worries of tomorrow and to be able to live today as only today.
Yesterday and tomorrow, they steal our todays. They distract us and stress us and worry us until we discover today is yesterday and tomorrow is today and the whole process is repeating itself over again.
I cannot change the things which happened yesterday. I cannot control the things which may happen tomorrow. But I can change how I approach today. I can control how I react today and the me I choose to be today.
Jesus and his words on worry come to mind: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well...do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:33-34).
In my faded and worn reading chair in the early morning grey is the place where I can stop and set my mind on his kingdom and his righteousness. It's the place where I can stop for a few stolen moments before the day begins and find the still, small whispers of the Spirit within me. It's there I can learn to take one day at a time and by doing so, today, live my life a little more simply.
Read other post in the Live Simply series: