I’ve been learning a lot in the past few months about being present. This book is helping a lot.
Have you read it? If I’ve told one person I’ve told 100 people: this book is kicking every single part of my behind. Thank you, Shauna Niequist.
You’ll remember from this post and this one (and this one, too) that my life has been all out of balance this past year. Too much work, activity, saying yes and the resulting STRESS. And as much as I’d like to blame this on 2016’s circumstances, the buck stops with me and the choices I’ve made this year.
The same types of choices I’ve habitual made year after year.
God is using Present Over Perfect to challenge me to stop and reflect. He’s inviting me to remake my life from the inside out. Instead of feeling frustrated by life’s pace, weight, or amount of commitments and resigning myself to playing the victim in my own life, I get to take charge. I get to be the boss of me.
I get to CHOOSE.
Love and get energized by it/that/those/them? Awesome.
Hate and get drained by it/that/those/them? Then, what the heck?
Time to stop complaining about my life and start taking the steps needed to live the life I was intended to. Not the one others want me to live or I think I SHOULD lead. But, the life I desire filled with the people and activities and pace I want.
I realize this all sounds very mid-life crisis-y which makes sense since I'm now 42 years old. There’s a reason people start asking big questions in their 40s. In this decade we realize the years keep going by faster and we don’t get a do-over.
So, let's get this right the first time.
But, to remake your life you first need to know what steps to take and figuring out those steps takes time. And quiet. I’m not very good at the second or seem to have enough of the first, so this process has been stretching out over more than three months now.
You may have noticed. You might have wondered why there haven’t been as many posts on the blog or in social media. It’s because of this.
God has drawn me into a season of stillness and silence. And while my soul is craving both and the gifts I’ll find on the other side, I’m still kicking and screaming and ignoring and distracting my way out of it much of the time.
When I’ve considered writing about what I’m learning, the words just seem to evaporate. Gone.
How do you describe an inward transformation that’s still in process which is coming mostly through silence and personal reflection? Tough for someone who’s always been a verbal and group processor.
In college I took a class with my favorite professor, Dr. Bette Brunsting, called Group Processes. It forced us to work in groups to accomplish tasks and we had to write papers about how the group communicated, made decisions and collaborated toward our end products.
I liked that class. We worked in groups and evaluated together. I love me a good group discussion.
But, this learning curve I’m on doesn’t happen in groups. It’s an independent study. Just me, my Bible, my journal and a whole lot of listening. It’s quiet. It’s reflective.
I hate it.
But, since so much of my life has been spent distracted by busyness and noise and focused on pleasing the people in my life, I’m trusting that true freedom will be found when I slow down, be quiet and ask:
What kind of life do I want to live?
And the kicker:
Does my life currently reflect that plan and, if not, what needs to change?
That’s where I’m at, friends, and where I’ve been for months. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me when/if I ever get the words to explain what I'm learning, but in the meantime, please pray for me and know that you’re welcome to join me in this journey of discovering more what the Present Life looks like.
I’d recommend starting with this book. It’ll kick your behind. All of it.