Where I live, I have been hunkering down under layers of clouds, punctuated by snow falls, blizzards and winds for most of the time for over the past month. Though it does get dreary I admit, the unceasing rain and chill tend to keep you indoors, which makes for the perfect setting for concentrating on doing indoor projects. Sitting by my window, with just enough light to feel like there is vitamin D to be had out there somewhere, I can watch the winter birds at the feeder. I can also watch the snow line go up and down the mountain side that I can see past my computer monitor depending on the temperature and level of precipitation. When the clouds are high enough to actually see the mountain tops, the scene is spectacular. Yesterday between bouts of slashing, rain, sleet and wind, the sun broke through for only a few minutes and gave us the most vibrantly colored rainbow I think I have ever seen. With the backdrop of dark clouds, this site was a gift of beauty.
You never know when something is going to cause a change in your life, however small, that may make everything simpler. I believe that these occurrences come into our lives when we're ready or perhaps they come along all the time and we only notice them when we're ready. I once read that if you want more time, do less. This makes sense to me, though it's not always easy. I remember flying home from Europe many years ago after spending a month with my sister. Sitting on that plane alone, well with a few hundred other travelers, but still alone, gave me time to review my life. I asked myself what was not giving me pleasure about my life at that time. I had volunteered for several committees, some associated with my children's schools and realized that one of those committee positions had been draining my energy and joy.
As soon as I got home, I resigned. When you're not in the right place or you're doing a job that you're not supposed to do, you're not only taking your energy away from what you're supposed to do, you're preventing the right person from taking the position. Sometimes we feel like we will let everyone down by setting something aside, but the activity could be falsely propped up by our participation. While you don't have to be passionate about everything you do, there should be some value in it to you and to others. After I dropped out of that committee, I discovered another area where my skills and energy could be used to benefit others in even better ways. This opportunity didn't deplete me and my contribution was much more effective. Simplifying your life is often a case of choosing the activities that are most suited to your gifts and abilities. It is in those areas that your contribution will be most effective, where your life will feel most on track. It's a good place to be.
We all have dreams, that list of things we hope one day to have or experience. And mostly we see those desires as being in some far off place in our lives, always just out of reach on the next horizon. But sometimes our dreams do come true, either through planning or unexpectedly. Sometimes they come true in ways we hadn't anticipated, in bite sized pieces of the big dream. Often, we don't even recognize these little snippets that keep our desires alive. It's like we can't see the first little green leaves of spring because we've decided to be satisfied with nothing less than the whole tree or the entire forest. When we see the leaves or the little dreams come true, they are like gifts from God that lead us like a trail of crumbs toward the bigger dream. If we're attentive, we can experience the joys of dreams coming true with each small step. They give us hope for the future. The one we long for in our hearts. Yes, it is out there. Each step of the way leads us closer.
When we appreciate what God puts in our paths each day and live in gratitude and joy, the big dreams come true piece by piece, step by step, day by day. How then do you know when you're doing what you're called to do when you're in the center of God's will? For that matter, do we even want that? Do you want God's will or do you just want your own? Many of us say, we want God's will for our lives, but live like that's the last thing we'd want. I believe the reason for this is because we don't really know God well enough to trust his judgment.
When you know the character of God, you find out that his plan is always the best one. That's because he's the maker. When I paint a picture or write a book, I know that work better than anyone else because I'm the creator. Wouldn't the God who made me know me better than I know myself? I would say so. God made me to live in my element. He knows exactly what that is. A life of peace and trust without striving or anxiety. It has taken me a long time to learn this. I have learned to trust God who loves me. He also loves you.
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