Tag Archives: Living In The Moment

DANCING IN THE RAIN

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The rain would start pouring down hard and my children would be energetically bouncing with joy.  Their little voices would beg me to let them go outside. “Mommy, if there’s no thunder, can we go out in the rain?”

I would stand at the door and watch them jump around and dance in the rain. It was full living at its best as they splashed in the puddles. Sometimes they would dance, or they would make a tent of umbrellas on the driveway. Sometimes they would simply stand in the rain on the edge of the street feeling the rush of water flowing between their toes.

The rain didn’t stop them from simply enjoying the day.

Children hold the key to a happy life. They are innocent in their thinking, and they know how to enjoy life to the fullest instinctively. A downpour of rain doesn’t hinder a child’s ability to embrace the moment and live fully.

This is how our Father in heaven wants us to live out our lives. When He created us He never intended for us to grudgingly endure life. His original idea was for us to see Him in the midst of the rain showers and enjoy life to the fullest.

God knew life wouldn’t be perfect or easy. I believe His greatest desire is for us to rely on Him in the midst of the rainy days. When we’re dependent upon Him, He continually pours out His grace and love onto our lives in the most unimaginable ways.

Years ago while praying, I heard words in my spirit that changed my perspective.

If you stay on the path with Me, you will not be disappointed.” God whispered those life-giving words to my heart.

At first I was thinking, “How can that be possible?” But I soon understood what the Lord was trying to get me to understand. He wanted me to know that if I followed Him and stayed close to His heart, He would turn my mourning into dancing instantaneously in the midst of disappointing circumstances.

His words have proved to be true in my life. I can honestly say—because I have been so wrapped up in God’s love—that disappointment has not lingered in my heart, nor has anything been able to rob me of my joy during the latter years of my life. Not any setback or loss or shattered dream can take away the joy that comes from Christ. His joy is eternal. When we have Him—we have everything.

Life is full of difficulties and challenges for everyone. No matter how much a person tries to put on a facade, nobody’s life is perfect. No human is immune to pain. Pain is not our enemy when Jesus is the center of our lives. His love overshadows everything and we can fellowship in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10).

My grandmother Mimi lived fully alive until she passed away at ninety-five years old. She had every reason to be bitter and unhappy. Her six-year-old brother died in an accident when she was a young girl and her father died when she was a young teen, leaving her in a state of poverty with a mother who wasn’t very affectionate.  Yet she danced in the rain.

My friend and mentor Bonnie had a gift for expressing what it means to live fully. She said, “With Christ, there are no disappointments. The challenges in life are HIS-appointments.” Bonnie passed away in 2008. Her faith in Christ lives on in my heart.

Leaning on our own strength leads to more disappointment. It’s when we lean on Jesus that we see His glory in our lives.

Life is undeniably hard. Every day we have a choice. We can either focus on the troubles in our lives or look toward Christ and live in His presence and glory. Why not choose the latter and see God’s Glory in your life? Choose joy. Choose life.

When the rain pours down, choose to turn toward Jesus and dance!

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” — Psalm 30:11 (NAS Bible)

“Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God. He’s giving you a teacher to train you how to live right—Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as He used to do.”

Joel 2:23 (The Message)

This article has been revised from a piece originally written in March, 2008.

The photo was downloaded at istockphoto.com.

FINDING THE EXTRAORDINARY IN THE ORDINARY

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I walked into my grandmother’s assisted living home soon after her husband of 72 years passed away. It was hard to see her in the shape she was in. My grandmother Mema seemed lost without my grandfather Poppy by her side. I left that day and wept. I wept tears over the sadness I saw in her eyes, over her frailty and her seemingly lost sense of purpose.

In my spirit I knew I needed to trust the Lord and make it my mission to bring joy to her by visiting her as often as I could. So I made it a priority to drive over an hour to visit her each week and encourage her.

Every visit is different, yet so very beautiful. Her mind is fading a bit, but she always knows who I am and she’s happy to see me. Her frail, ninety-three-year-old body is so weak that she can’t stand up without me using every bit of my strength to assist her. She had to start using a wheel chair over the summer.

I’ve visited her twice this week. On Wednesday, I spent about three hours with her. Shortly after leaving the dining hall, I asked her, “Do you want me to push you around outside?” She responded, “Yes!” She acted as though it was the most exciting part of her day. We headed to the exit and I pushed her for what seemed like an hour.

On our walk, we stopped at every flower and looked closely and breathed in the beautiful, sweet smells. We looked closely at the leaves beginning to turn vibrant shades of red. We looked at the magnificent North Georgia Mountains surrounding us. In those moments, it was as though all of Mema’s cares had dissipated. We were breathing in the sweetness of God’s presence togethergrandmother and granddaughternot thinking of the past and not longing for what is to come. We were simply reveling in the beauty God had given us in those moments.

We were at an ordinary place in an ordinary parking lot of the assisted living facility where my grandmother lives. But there was nothing ordinary about these precious moments. They were sacred moments of breathing in the love of Christ and thanking Him for giving me these precious extraordinary days with my last living grandmother.

Jesus has an amazing way of taking what seems like ordinary life events and turning each moment into a spectacular, extraordinary display of His splendor.

“I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.” Psalm 145:5 (New Living Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Ordinary.” Today, I broke the rules and spent about twenty extra minutes writing this piece. I was weepy and couldn’t seem to stop writing after five minutes.

In the photo, my grandmother is holding her great-great grandchild (my nephew’s son).

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Present

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It’s tempting to live life focused on the past or worrying about what lies ahead in the future. While my mind sometimes wanders and I think about those things that steal my peace, the Lord whispers words to my heart that keep me focused on what is eternal.

Be still and quiet every day so that you can hear My voice. I will give you what your soul is yearning for if you keep focused on Me. Don’t look back to the past. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Simply walk with Me and live in the present moment. Savor what I am giving you in the present and enjoy every single breath I am giving you.

His words are what draw me into living in the present moment.

“You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.” James 4:14 (God’s Word Translation)

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday where Lisa Jo Baker and other awesome people write for five minutes flat with no self critiquing or no striving for perfection. This week’s prompt is: “Present.”

The photo was taken at Dauphin Island, Alabama. There’s something about the beach that beckons me to listen closely to the voice of God.

Five Minute Friday