Enjoying Life

2013 is, for me, the year of Whole Hearted Living. It is the year where I am trying to intentionally cultivate attitudes of joy, thanksgiving/gratitude, hope, courage and compassion. I am trying to be mindful of those things every day, taking a few moments throughout the day to check in and see how my heart is doing.

I am a pretty driven, goal-oriented individual and prone to sacrificing enjoyment of life to work. For instance, I generally don’t stay out late to hang out with friends because I need to go to bed so I can be rested to get up at 6, go through my devotional routine and be to work. I love that side of my character – I like being consistent, dependable, productive and on top of things. I believe that God is pleased with those things as well, but He also wants to add in the things I mentioned above – joy, gratitude, hope, courage, compassion.

Work is a good and Godly thing, but so are full-living, loving relationships, rest and play. What I marvel at is how much pleasure God has created us for – and I’ve been missing out on it! God didn’t create humans to be work machines needing fuel, He created us to be joy bombs, ready to be triggered by a multitude of pleasures.

Think of this: food didn’t have to taste good, but it does! Eating is one of the most pleasurable things and we get to, have to, do it frequently. Similarly, it didn’t have to feel good to take a nap, but snuggling on the couch and dozing with a lover is brilliant. Our lives are running over with enjoyable gifts from our Heavenly Father: showers, coffee, rain, wool socks, snow, hot chocolate, Spring, etc.

So, this year, I am doing my best to embrace my vocation as a joy-bomb. I trying to be in tune with all the different types of pleasure God in throwing my way. Living in joy and gratitude has been good for my soul. I pray differently, more frequently. I’m beginning to see new facets of God’s heart that I had looked over before.

What about you? Do you think it is good for a Christian to enjoy such “base” pleasures? How and what do you enjoy if you do? What is God doing in your life this year? Looking forward to hearing from you, until then!

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2 thoughts on “Enjoying Life”

  1. I believe it’s good for all of us to experience joy in our daily lives. I have been rearranging my life for a couple years, to allow me the ability to choose things I desire to do and enjoy doing, instead of my tendency to do what I feel I “need” to do or “should” do. I tend to do the “needs and shoulds” with dread, resistance, and resignation –sometimes with determination. I’ve been good at convincing myself I want to do these things, but in the end it did not make me feel joyful; it left me with a feeling of heaviness. My life has always been full of things I feel obligated to do, because it’s what was expected of me.

    It’s been difficult for me to determine what I really enjoy doing or what I am really enthused about, but I believe this has changed over the last year or so. I’ve learned to say no when I really don’t want to do something. I’ve learned that God wants to give me the desires of my heart, but it’s up to me to determine what those are. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure that out and that’s ok.

    I’ve realized there are well-intentioned peopled out there, eager to tell me what they think I should be doing. Some even believed they knew better what I was feeling than I did. In reality, only God and I knew what I was truly feeling. I’ve learned, if I feel uncomfortable in my heart about something, it’s not something I should be doing. It’s been difficult, because there were times when it sure seemed like I should “want” to say yes. However; my heart felt a whole lot lighter when I listened and only said yes to the things that were right for me.

    1. DJ,

      Yes, absolutely. That was very well said. One of the best definitions of authentic and courageous living I’ve come across is from Brene Brown. “It’s letting go of who you think you should be and embracing who you are.”

      You’re right, there are loads us people who want to tell us what we “should” be doing and how we can do it better. But these “experts” don’t know our lives or our desires.

      I’m glad you’ve started rearranging your life to find what makes you come alive. God has put desires in each of us that need to be expressed if we want to live complete and contented lives. No amount of “shoulds” can add up to a good life full of meaning. Sometimes we need to do what we want to do, even if it isn’t the “smartest,” “most productive” or “most responsible” thing we could do.

      And doing what God has put inside of us isn’t selfish, either. We were made to do certain things and there is a lot of life and joy that is released when we do them. Good for you for choosing to do those things. Thanks for reading!

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