Moments of Miracles: Living With Everyday Enthusiasm

Moments of Miracles: Living With Everyday Enthusiasm

This is a reflection of life’s littles and bigs.

Every day is full of moments. Moments are made up of minutes and seconds. Minutes and seconds are what make up our lives. But our lives aren’t founded upon and latched to minutes and seconds, but laid upon the foundation of moments. And sometimes it’s small miracles that make a difference between a minute and a moment.

What is a miracle? The definition of miracle is described in three different but similar terms: 1) a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency, 2) a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences, 3)an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.

Miracles are beautiful wrapped in the ordinary and the extraordinary paper. Miracles can be beautiful and frightening at the same time, something that takes our breath away or shocks us so much we can’t even explain. That’s the point, miracles can’t be explained. Life itself can’t be explained. It’s beautiful, yet frightening because it’s the “fear of the unknown” that holds people back. I’m quite guilty of it at times. To me, I’d rather live life as “why not?!” instead of “what if?”.

As my 26th birthday just passed a month ago in March; I always get a bit more reflective, adventurous and sentimental than usual. Last year when I turned 25, to me it was more of a big deal than 18 or 21. An age where you really start to see your life shaping up around based on the decisions you make, responsibilities you face, values you hold on to, and the memories you make. I love living for Jesus, and because of Him I am a one who gives it my best to live without fear and be adventurous. Experience. It’s been said (although I can’t remember who said it) “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away”.Therefore one of my motivations is my bucket list! I don’t let this “checklist” control my life like we can with our “to do lists” day-to-day. I let it push me and motivate me, when I feel like I’m not doing well to my own standards or my “imagined” standards of other’s opinions of me (which I know and we all should Who’s opinion and standards truly matter-my Heavenly Father’s), or when I feel stuck in a rut and discouraged with where I am in life, or even when I just feel up for adventure or something purposeful…I look at my bucket list for motivation, to reflect on the accomplishments and places that God has already brought me to and through. I can’t help but get excited! This is what I call living with everyday enthusiasm.

What is “everyday enthusiasm“? To me that means, having a reason to get up out of bed in the morning when I wake up, to thank God for letting me open my eyes and draw another breath into my lungs. By enthusiasm, I don’t mean the chipper and cheesy, oh-so-annoying perky morning person that drives everyone crazy with their sunshine and rainbows. (I have been guilty). It means to simply CHOOSE JOY. Joy is a daily thing, like taking a daily prescribed medicine or a multivitamin. We have to choose it each day. Happiness is circumstantial and temporary, joy is eternal and solid. Our happiness can be tested, or change. Joy is something we choose in spite of circumstances. Once you have joy, and set mind and heart on it-IT CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY. Circumstances like: devastating news, a breakup, a lost loved one, a grim diagnosis of cancer or another aggressive illness, a divorce, job loss, loss of a friendship, or simply sometimes just a bad day. But a bad day does not mean you have a bad life. Circumstances could be on the opposite end of the spectrum too: the little things in life that bring us joy: a long chat with one of your best friends, your favorite song on the radio with the sun shining and windows down, sitting on a porch swing, driving your truck down a dirt road, your favorite fishing spot, that endorphin high from a great workout or that extra mile on your run, your favorite kind of coffee in your favorite mug curled up with your Bible or a good book, a little bit of good news from a friend or family member, a sweet hug or smile, a high-five from a little kid, or just a random act of kindness from a kind stranger. Those are what I call “moments of miracles”. The things we take for granted, memories and everyday moments. Miracles are everywhere in the world around, we can look outside at God’s creation and see it!

But what about those circumstances in life that call for major miracles? I recently went to the theater and saw “Miracles from Heaven” on Easter Sunday with my parents. The movie is about a young girl about 9 years old who gets very sick with an intestinal disease and there is no cure. The story is one that follows her and her family (two sisters, mom, and dad) through her illness and how one crazy turn that could’ve been catastrophic actually was the miracle they had been praying and searching for. The young girl falls 30 ft into a hollow tree which could’ve killed her, yet she is healed from her disease! Sometimes circumstances, the good along with the bad and sometimes downright painful leave us begging for relief: some type of miracle. Some lose their faith or at least struggle with it. Others gain faith that they need even knew they needed or wanted. It teaches us. It strengthens us and weakens us all at the same time if that even makes sense in our human minds. I know friends and family members right now in need of major miracles and serious prayer. Prayer and faith can move mountains. Miracles-the unexpected and unexplained. So I simply leave you with this-find your joy, seek and pray for your miracle or one for someone you love, choose to live your life with “everyday enthusiasm”, see the miracles in every moment. Choose JOY. Be grateful, and always Be HOPEful.

With joy,
your sister in Christ

Heather

The Truth About Mean Girls by Heather H.

84eded1c892eb4864d669211da47b0aaThe Truth about Mean Girls

The popular 2004 movie, “Mean Girls” gave everyone an inside scoop on what it’s like to be a high school girl. Although a lot of the movie was exaggerated for laughs, a lot of it can be true. Girls can be vicious, admit it. We’ve all had our heart broken by a boy probably at least once in our life, or been picked on by a guy (that’s their way of “flirting”) but let’s face it no many how tears you’ve shed of a silly boy the wounds from our fellow females can hurt worse. Why do we do that, huh ladies? Is there a reason, logic or science behind our motives? First things first, bullying is not cool. We know that girls and guys are definitely wired differently in the way we think and interact with others. We know that guys loves a healthy dose of competition to stroke their ego a little bit, but guys don’t hold on to grudges like girls do. Sometimes I’d actually rather hang out with my brothers and guy friends than some girls because the fellas are less dramatic! I love my girlfriends though! Guys will throw a few punches maybe and have a few words, then be friends again five minutes later and be all like “hey bro, I’m sorry man”. Girls on the other hand, we can be very competitive as well, but usually do not show it until that green-eyed monster comes lurking up and sneaks out of us, not quite as loudly and angrily as The Hulk, but more manipulative and cunning…you guessed it, the green-eyed monster called JEALOUSLY.

In last week’s article, I talked about body image, self-esteem and the media trend of “body shaming”. Since when did it become okay to slam someone or shame someone because of their size? We, as ladies are constantly comparing ourselves to each other! I’m just as guilty, I’m only human too my sister! Sometimes it can be comparing our weight or clothing size as we already mentioned. Sometimes, (for any of my elementary and middle school girls) it could be that little girl that sits next to us in class who has the cutest new Disney Princess or Lilly Pulitzer notebook and book bag to match and we just have plain ole wide-ruled spiral bound notebooks and a hand me down book bag and last year’s outfit while she’s sporting a new wardrobe. Or it could be that head cheerleader who’s so popular that every guy wants to date, and your crush just asked her to prom instead of even glancing in your direction. Even grown-ups deal with the same thing, the woman in the cubicle next to you-your “work bestie” got the promotion and you didn’t. Or someone is getting more hours than you while your shifts get cut back. What about the new girl who is “stealing” your friends? (Let’s be honest, she’s not “stealing your friends” she’s just trying to make friends, including YOU!) Or let’s get real, you see some girl supposedly flirting with your man! Oh no she didn’t! Ladies we all face real life situations of petty jealously! But what about the words some girls same that cut us to the core, or when your best friend lets you down, or worse…stabs you in the back? Girls don’t throw punches and fight it out like boys do, girls use words and gossip and manipulation…also the worst tactic making someone feel left out.

The question is WHY?! Girls this is not all fun and games. Words hurt, the Bible even speaks of it in James 3 saying that the tongue is hard to tame. Instead of getting jealous, or feeling better than or less than one of your sisters in Christ, celebrate each other! Instead of trying always “one up” each other, why not help each other up? Each of us face a lot of the same things, sometimes you just need another woman whether older and wiser or a girlfriend your age to share and talk with. We are all in this together ladies! We are royal daughters, not jealous nasty monsters who thrive on manipulation! Whatever things are honest and noble, full of virtue-think on these and do these things! (Philippians 4:8, Proverbs 31). One of the most important things I can leave you with is, if you have been hurt by mean girls or bullied in the past…or maybe you were or are that “mean girl”…the bottom line is grace and forgiveness. Forgive those who have hurt you, and reach out to those you have hurt…show grace to yourself and others. Love each other by lifting each other up.
-Your sister in Christ, Heather