I was just thinking last night as I tossed and turned in bed how life just doesn't get "easier". And that's when I chuckled to myself. It's foolish indeed to think that as soon as this tough phase is over, things will get easier or better. The only time that is true is when this life is over and we are eternally with the Lord. Oh happy day! But until then...
Around 20 yrs old, we're young and feeling great for having just survived adolescence. We look forward to marriage, our own home and freedom to do things the way WE want to. lol Then we get married and our brood of blessings grows. And make no mistake about it - children ARE blessings! But they also present us with the biggest, most exhausting challenge of our lives! :)
The next 20 years are a blur - from diapers to diplomas. And when your brood begins entering adolescence and your house feels like a hormone factory, you find your kids become almost as fragile as when they were infants. (And need to be treated just as delicately!)
You begin to see the day coming just over the horizon when it will be just you and your husband again. You pray for your children's future spouses and for God to help you get through their teen years alive. lol :)
The next 20 years have their own set of challenges! Your joints aren't quite as strong, your hormones shift around like sand on a windy day, sleepless nights return with hot flashes and mood swings. And if you're not prepared for an empty nest, loneliness can strike. This doesn't mean that any of these phases are bad - just challenging! :)
You begin to reap the rewards - good or bad - of how you have (or haven't) taken care of yourself. In other words, life never gets any easier. Each stage of life presents us with its own set of obstacles to overcome.
So what's my point? :-)
Enjoy your life whatever stage you find yourself in because it will never get any "easier"; just different. Fully enjoy each day you have to live. But at the same time, do something every single day to invest in your future. Whatever is burdening you, find a way to laugh at it and send up your prayers of thanksgiving and cries for help to the Lord. He knows it is hard for us.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Psalms 78:38 For he [the Lord] remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
Reading blogs is fun and can even be educational. (Like this one!) Blogs can either be a source of inspiration (in a vicarious sort of way) or be very depressing (how does she DO it all?). But it is still the internet and it can blur the line of reality. And the truth is, no one has it all together. We are all in the same boat - humanity. And we all have the same needs.
So I got to thinking about some things I've learned along the way that may help others:
- Don't neglect to take care of yourself. You'll be with yourself all of your life, so take an hour a day for basic maintenance.
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
- Exercise! I aim for 30 minutes a day. Proverbs 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
- Use anti-aging eye cream. I started using some at 22 yrs old and I still have no wrinkles around my eyes 20 years later. :)Song of Solomon 4:7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.
- Take a soak in the bathtub at least once a week and completely relax. I like to watch an old black and white movie while I soak. Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
- Stop worrying. If it's too small to pray about, it's too small to worry about. And once you pray about it, know that God is on the case. Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
- Get a good night's sleep. I need at least 9 hours a night. Jesus could sleep through a storm! Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
- Take vitamins and herbs. The Bible says they are our MEAT. Our food. They heal, restore and cleanse. Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
- Keep your house clean and tidy. Research shows that a clean and organized environment promotes health by increasing feelings of calm and happiness. Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
- Speak life to your family. Make yours a happy household. Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
- Unforgiveness is like drinking poison in hopes that your enemy will die. So forgive others and hold no grudges. Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
- Life is fun, so laugh and smile every day of it. Laughter is medicine. Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- Guard your time and beware of time stealers - the internet is a big one. Don't waste precious time on facebook or even reading too many blogs! :) You can never get that time back. Ephesians 5:16-17 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
- Read the word of God every day. It is food and nourishment for your spirit. 1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
- Live your life to please an audience of One. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
- Be careful what you say. Matthew 12:36 says, But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
- Keep a careful watch on your actions, for God is always watching and accounting. 1 Corinthians 3:13 says, Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
- Whenever possible, help others. Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
I hope these things will be a blessing to you and help you keep your perspective. God is good and he gave us life so we could live abundantly.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.