Essentials for Living Well

Moonstone Beach in Charlestown, RI

Moonstone Beach in Charlestown, RI

This morning as I sat down at the kitchen table with coffee, journal, planner and Bible and, I might add, a very busy mind, I felt the need to let the overflow from my head spill onto my journal pages, hoping that my quiet time would be more focused afterward. There is something about releasing the clutter in my mind onto paper that clarifies my vision and focus. As I sat, I began to consider how important this time was to me in the scheme of things. It might not always look the same, this “Quiet Time” but what I realized is there are three (actually four) elements essential for me to confidently and contentedly live out my life with joy, peace, and purpose. These components have carried me through from my younger days until now and continue to give me a sense of well-being, regardless of the circumstances.

As I consider my goals, for the rest of this year with pen and paper, and plan my days in the presence of the Living God, I am lifted from my messy table, and ever-growing to do list to the heavenly places and purposes of God’s vision for my life. He takes my ordinary moments and infuses them with grace. I find this time needful and strive to connect each morning. But, life is busy and I am prone to distraction, nevertheless, He is patient with me and time is in His hands anyway- unlike my Doctor’s limited schedule and flexibility. My God the Keeper of Time is able to adapt to my haphazard, human time constraints and for that I am truly grateful.

Even as I write this post today, I am interspersing paragraphs with housework. I know it sounds mundane, but God speaks to me in it all. I sweep, sing, scrub, listen…home alone only means home with Him and that makes my home, and housework extremely happy.

But about those essentials I mentioned, I guess I have learned that these activities have been cultivated over a lifetime, and now define me or continue to allow me to be defined through their influence.

Here’s the thing, I believe they are essential for everyone- though they might look different and be worked out uniquely as the Creator himself has designed the individual. I believe each of these reflects certain aspects of the God who created each one of us!

1. Planning– If you don’t know this already, I am a planner person. The short version means I plan my days. The long version is I have written a whole series about this ongoing battle for first place with God about being the Master of my destiny, while learning to submit and surrender to Him and His good and perfect will (and plans) for my life. Insert breath here. Inhale….

Don’t forget to exhale, by the way. Next…

2. Journaling- Journaling is the thing that has kept me out of the youth correctional facility as  young adult, and from regularly lining the pockets of a Psychiatrist. That is the humorous version, but the truth is, I have given myself over to the continual work in progress I am before God on paper. I confess, it is not all roses and candy. I am a sinner being transformed daily to the image of an Uncompromising God. Sometimes that looks like kicking and screaming. Sometimes it looks lovely. Either way, I keep it real. No apologies. I never promised you a rose garden. Besides, God already is well versed about my thorny side.

3. Creating-  Creative time is non-negotiable for me. It includes everything and anything can be done with a creative flair. Even polishing the floor. For instance, I dropped and cracked open an old bottle of hardwood floor polish from the closet to the floor by accident. I spontaneously polished two rooms even though that was not on my list to to today. Or probably ever. Ahem. OK, but what I really want to say is the God who created me inspires me daily. He is a wellspring of inspiration. Daily He creates in me the desire to create. Whether a poem, a clean house (truly miraculous), a gift, a card, a blog post or essay- God inspires me daily. This is not surprising, if your Dad is The Creator, you are creative. It’s in the genes. Got genes? I’ve got them, and I promise you every day is a new adventure that I expect Him to do great things, even through this imperfect (and messy) vessel. Case in point, He created you too, so um…you are creative!

4. Reading the Holy Bible-  Initially I only listed the three things above, because I guess I assumed that the Bible is essential, but as I wrote this I realized that it is the Holy Scripture that has made the prior three essentials powerful in my life. The Word of God, is the wind beneath my wings. Jesus was the Word that became flesh. His Word is alive and living just as He is. He and the Father are one; by His Spirit and Truth He directs my life. By reading daily, I receive new insights, that cannot be gathered from any other source. Is the Bible essential to my existence? Absolutely. If you took away the piles of my books and said I could only keep one, it is the only one I would keep. Of course choosing which out of my many versions I own is another story for a book hoarding post, but alas that is for another day.

What I have learned about myself is that these are essential to my well being. But, I believe they are essential to everyone’s well being. God is the ultimate example of each in a way- I see each as a reflection of His expression and He uses these to develop me and draw me closer to Him.

He planned and created everything, He is the Living Journal– the inspired Word that dwelt among us. In Him we live, and move and have our being.

Even while polishing hardwood floors.

This post is part of Journaling Your Journey [with Jesus]

*I am sharing this with Karen from Finding the Grace Within for Tuesday at Ten for the prompt  { I’ve learned that . . . . }. If you are looking for a weekly writing prompt hop on over and visit! I am late but crashing the party just the same. The link is open for a full week (6 days ) so party crashers are welcome. ;)*

karenslink

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ocjarman1
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 23:42:18

    Wonderful post, and I agree with ALL of them. I additionally, use a way of writing, as part of my quiet-time, Morning Papers. These are 3 pages of rants, raves, anything-that-bugs-the-squat-out-me sort of writing–this all is to have clear mind to begin my time with the Lord, with a somewhat clearer ‘noggin’! These are originally from “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron of which I’m starting to re-reading this week.

    Reply

  2. Barbara
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 09:55:31

    Always love reading your posts! I get so much out of them…and this one…well, I totally agree with the four essentials; I am there with you, my friend! It may not look pretty; but I have tried to take those few quiet moments in the morning – MOST mornings ARE quiet! – and read God’s word, my two devotion books, journal and TRY to journal the journey. It isn’t the same every day; yet, perhaps it is what it needs to be for that day!

    Thank you for sharing…

    Reply

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