Are you Ready?

Are you Ready

Did you ever dream you get somewhere unprepared? Maybe you go to school and realize you’re still in your pajamas.  Or you find out there’s a test and you forgot to study.

Being unprepared is scary. It presses that “I’m dumb” button inside us.

And yet, we all feel that way at one time or another. We think everyone else has it all together. Maybe they don’t.

A new year

We just started a new year. Ready or not the giant ball in New York floated down. It’s here.

People have begun making their lists of goals or resolutions. Brave souls share them. Others join groups for accountability.

Having goals or resolutions is fine as long as we don’t overdo it. Then nothing is accomplished.

I have a few areas I want to focus on. My health, both physical and spiritual, and using my gifts.

Becoming healthier

For my health, I have discovered the benefits of walking. I feel better when I walk. A couple of weeks ago I started walking regularly again.

Since I’m not a fan of falling on ice, or winter, I walk indoors.  Using a walking DVD I walk anywhere from 3-5 miles.

Drinking water is another healthy habit I want to incorporate. Why? Basically because I don’t drink water. And I’ve yet to find anyone who thinks that’s a good idea.

Reading the Bible

I’ve also decided I want to read the Bible every day. While I’ve been a regular reader of devotions and use scripture for reference, that’s not enough. I want to take God’s love letter out and read it for myself. There’s a big difference. So today I started a one year reading plan. Check.

Writing

As far as using my gifts, I took a challenge and am writing at least 500 words a day. This will be for 31 days. Writing is like breathing to me, so I don’t think this will be difficult.

We don’t wake up January 1st thinking, Hey, I’ve got to come up with some resolutions. We’ve started thinking about this long before we bought confetti for New Year’s Eve.

We know what needs to be done, we just need to do it. Tweet this.

I am a token-reinforcement person. I like charting accomplishments.  And I do it in one of the most sophisticated ways. Well, not really.

I like stickers. And I especially like putting them on charts so I can visually see my progress. So many times I have done something mainly because I didn’t want to have a blank spot on my chart.

Let’s see, I could have one sticker for drinking water for the day. Maybe a picture of a little glass. I could have stars for reaching my Bible reading quota.  And maybe another when I complete my daily writing.

Then I’ll need another sticker for walking. That’s a lot of stickers.

Stretching

With all this self-analysis I’ve recognized another area I need to grow. My ability to stretch. 

No, I’m not talking about exercise here. I’m talking about my resistance to change.

I’m one of those people who sits in approximately the same spot in church, every week. I eat a lot of the same foods over and over, and basically, I shop in the same stores.

Sometimes my lack of variety gets to me.

So, in view of that, I’m going to embrace my resistance and learn how to incorporate change into my life.

Why not add a little variety?

Maybe instead of star stickers, I’ll get smiley faces.

Today’s a New Day

I wonder how many illustrations we need to remember how God is faithful.

We see beginnings everywhere we look. There is the beginning of a new month where we wonder what we will accomplish. We write in the birthdays of people we want to celebrate. We notice which holidays are creeping up.  

There is the beginning of the week. Where we ascertain how we are doing with long range goals, are we on task, do we need to amp up? We notice certain appointments coming up that we can’t afford to miss. Some we welcome, some we just want to get over with so we can cross them off.  

Then there’s today. A brand new spanking clean day. A day that doesn’t wear any of yesterday. It is complete with it’s own supply of grace. A gift we haven’t opened yet. For a few moments I move into the living room, watching as God gently blows the dark out of the sky. 

It’s a slow process, one I take for granted often, but not today. Today I want to watch the unveiling. I notice most everything is dark, almost black as God begins his nudging the day awake. The light in the window across the street is very bright as everything around is black. And then little by little God peels back layers. I watch as the sky turns different shades of gray and finally is white. And then it’s as if God takes a charcoal and starts sketching in clouds. 

The clouds are all compressed but further as I look closer I can see those puffy clouds move up ever so slowly. And as it gets lighter I see the sky is one big cloud void of any blue.  

I notice how the light reveals color. The leaves which were just one big clump of almost black, now start appearing in various shades of green. And the lighter and lighter they get the easier it is for me to recognize the individual leaves. Some of the leaves are actually starting to turn colors. In the weeks to come I will watch as they evolve into wonderful shades of fall. 

The tree across the street is one of my favorite fall programs to watch. Day after day it transforms in living color. Shades of green, red, orange and yellow start popping up all over the neighborhood. And when they are spectacular they begin to leave. One by one they take turns jumping off the tree. Some are carried away by little breezes sent for just that purpose. Some stubbornly hang on determined to be the last seen this year. 

The branches are swaying this morning. I hear the leaves rustling and wonder what their conversation is. Perhaps they too talk about the weather and the chance of rain. 

Yes today is a new day and tucked within is a portion of grace for each and every one who breathes. Grace enough for whatever this cloud-filled day holds. God gives grace generously but he doesn’t waste it. Because God knows exactly how much we need. 

There are some days when we feel graceless, but it’s because we are not living in the day, we have instead borrowed some of tomorrow’s worries. The grace is for today and today only and we will find that there is enough, because He is enough.

I breathe in anticipating all that today may hold. I hear a rumble in the sky but I’m sure that God heard it too, in fact he said, to the sky, “Right now, rumble.”

Today is a gift. And whether it is a storm filled day with mostly cloudy happenings and a shower of sorrow, or a day that clears up to a blue sky of possibilities one thing is sure, we will not enter this day alone. He has promised he will be with us.

This day is filled with God moments. Things he has tucked in it just for me. And all I have to do is look around. To notice his loving details.

And I know there’s a blue sky behind the clouds. And if and when God wants he can gently blow the clouds away just like he did with the darkness. 

But in the meantime, “thanks Lord. Thanks for this new day.” And all the leaves said, amen.