I know it sounds crazy, but it’s a real thing. Too many of us are missing our one and only life.
“What?” you say, “How can I miss my life? I’m the one living it.”
But are you? Really?
Last weekend was the culmination of six straight weekends speaking at conferences all over the country. (Welcome new blog friends!) And while I LOVED speaking and meeting so many wonderful people, the travel took its toil. I was just plumb tired.
Last week my nephew, his wife, three-year old daughter and newborn texted to say they’d be driving through town and could they stay a couple of nights with us? I didn’t even hesitate. Yes! Of course!
So just in case you’re wondering: I’m not crazy. Or Superwoman.
It’s just that I never want to miss my own life, and for me, family is at the core of my life. I can sleep off my tired in a day or two, but I can’t get back the moments I would have missed having all my kids (five of them now) and our nephew and his precious family under one roof. Laughing. Eating. Playing games. Enjoying each other.
Living our one and only life in a way that is…good.
It’s so easy to get entangled in meaningless or mindless activity and miss moments that become memories. Sometimes we’re not even aware we’re missing out until it’s too late.
We’re letting ourselves be robbed and we don’t even know it.
Here are three common ways you might be missing your own life:
- You spend more time looking at other people’s adventures than creating your own.
Reality shows are someone’s life, but they aren’t yours. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat highlight other people’s meaningful moments, but time spent looking at a friend’s memories means you aren’t making your own. It’s not that I’m against entertainment or social media. I’m not. But it’s high time we realize the minutes we spend looking at someone else’s life are minutes we could spend living ours.
So what do we do to reclaim our lives? Limit time spent in front of a screen and use the extra time you gain to do something you’ve thought about doing but haven’t gotten around to. Do something–anything–that will bring you joy. Go on a walk with a friend. Linger reading your Bible. Take your kids or grandkids someplace fun. Plan a trip. Clean a drawer. Date your own husband. Don’t rush dinner with your family (summer BBQ, anyone?)
Take the minutes you’d normally spend looking at a screen and look at a real life human being. One you love and know. Or one you’d love to know.
2. You’re a People Pleaser
Ouch. This one hits close to home, doesn’t it?
How does this show up? Your decisions are ruled by fear. You say yes when you should say no, and you say no when you should say yes. Maybe you’ve limited yourself and how God could use you. Or your priorities reflect things that don’t add up to a hill of beans (I’m quite sure my southern grandmothers are smiling down from heaven over that phrase).
Speaking of heaven, let’s stop pretending we have all the time in the world to make a difference in this life. We don’t.
How do I overcome this obstacle? Figure out what God wants me to do with my life and do it.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just ask two questions:
- Who has God put in my life to love?
- What do I love to do? Whatever it is, do it to bless someone else and bring God glory. I’m not kidding. It’s that simple. Don’t make it complicated.
Love God. Love People. Use your gifts. Bless Others. Do these things and you won’t miss your one and only life.
3. You think more about what you wish were true than what is true.
This is a big one for women. Maybe it’s our culture, and the constant reminders that whatever we have is not enough, or not good enough. Whatever the reason we’ve bought into the lie, it’s killing us.
You know the drill…
I wish I had a house.
I wish I had a different house.
I wish my husband __________(you fill in the blank).
I wish I had a husband.
I wish I was younger.
I wish I was older (said no one over the age of 25).
I wish I didn’t have to work.
I wish I had a job.
I wish I had kids.
I wish the kids were little again.
I wish the kids would hurry up and grow up (No you don’t. You really, really don’t. Trust me)
When we think more about what we wish was true than what is true, we miss the beauty of now. In a flash, the now becomes the then. We’ll look back and realize we missed our own life.
Today–yes, today–focus on what you do have and what you don’t have will fade. It’s not that we can’t want something more or different but…Don't let your longing stop you from your living. Make your moments matter now. Click To Tweet
You, sweet friend, have one life. It’s a gift given to you by your loving Creator. Don’t waste it. Don’t mismanage it. Don’t regret it. Don’t avoid it.
Take your life back and live it.