When I Look Down

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I recently posted a blog on taking life one day at a time, and it was great to  get those words out there in the world. It certainly wasn’t a new message to anyone (myself included) but after writing about it, it became more REAL to me.

God is really making sure I get the message on this one, and I am thankful for His persistence in this season (I think…).

I was reminded tonight during a beautiful conversation with a friend about a time back in February when God made the “one day at a time” message clear to me in the visual world. During my conversation tonight, I am so thankful God brought this image back into my mind. I was brought to tears as I remembered how REAL it looks when we walk with God as I personally walked up a Volcano in Guatemala.

Hiking up any incline is difficult, much like life. There isn’t a manual that tells you how to climb properly (much like life) and any one traveler is left to his or own devices as she climbs her way up.

I found myself hiking up Pacaya in February of 2015. I had already made this journey the year before in April, and I had promised myself I wasn’t going to do it again. But alas, my fear of riding a horse up the volcano won, and so I marched my angry butt up the steep incline with bitterness in each step.

It’s funny how annoying it can be when we find ourselves on a journey we didn’t intend to take. Thankfully, I can see from this experience in Guatemala, that God’s plan are far better than ours. They just don’t look as pretty as we imagined.

As I climbed, I started to sweat. Which caused me to get more upset. I realize I had done this once already, so I shouldn’t  have been upset at all. But I was. I was upset I didn’t have the courage to ride the horse. I was upset I had to do physical activity I hadn’t planned on. And mostly, I was upset that everyone else in my group was WAY ahead of me, and I felt like the slow chubby girl waddling her way up the hill shouting ” wait for me!” ( I wasn’t shouting. I was too busy trying to breath).

Interestingly enough, I was never alone on my journey. I FELT alone, but I wasn’t. A man with a horse talked to me for a while before he moved on ahead of me to help someone else. One of my friends stayed behind to make sure everyone made it up to the top, so he made sure his horse moved slower than everyone else’s. I managed to move quicker at some points and caught up with groups of people who were also walking up and not on horses. They each provided me with comfort and support as we were all in the same predicament (whether by choice or chance). And there were also other Guatemalans along the way who either stared at me or spoke. But I was NEVER alone.

And here is the most important part; the lesson that made me cry tonight as I remembered it. When I looked up, and saw how far ahead everyone else seemed, and I saw how far I still needed to travel, I  got so upset. I felt utterly hopeless. And I wanted to cry. But when I looked down and focused on my own two feet and the just the next step I had to take, I felt peace. I felt ease. I felt accomplished.

And that’s exactly what I believe God is calling me to right now: to just focus on my own two feet, on the step that I am on. Because when I look too far ahead, it looks hopeless. And there is just so much more ground I know I need to cover. And there isn’t anything I can do about it from where I am standing.

You know what? I eventually made it to the top of the volcano and joined my group. I wasn’t the last one either! (Some of the girls got distracted with pictures and selfies with their horses and ended up taking longer to get to our end point). But I made it! In my own time, in my own fashion, and I didn’t feel like I had missed ANYTHING by the time I got there. All I felt was satisfaction. Excitement. Accomplishment. Because in  the  end, it did not even matter how long it took me to get to the top: what mattered was that I endured (and sometimes enjoyed) the journey up.

I want to say  the same for my life. In every season (this one especially) that even though the road was rough at times, and the view wasn’t always pretty, I enjoyed the journey.

I AM going to make it to the top. I know it. And I hope I can say (when I get there) that I traveled well.

All my love,
Danni

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One Day At a Time

I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. -Homer

I am guilty. 

Absolutely guilty.

Completely guilty of wanting to live more than one day at a time.

Anyone else?

I find my brain LOVES to try and tackle days, weeks, months, YEARS even at a time, trying feverishly to figure out and control what will happen in my own strength and by my own means.

This is, absolutely and utterly, insane behavior.

Insane because, what I am currently (and FINALLY) realizing is that I can quite literally only live one day at a  time. I know, a novel idea here! But bear with me as I unpack this, because I believe we are ALL guilty of this insane behavior in one way or another.

For me, I like to know what to expect out of life. I want to set up systems in my day-to-day that provide evidence for what to expect in my week-to-week, which in turn leaves no doubt of how the rest of my days will play out. A pattern of predictability is so attractive to my brain, and yet, as I type this, I could argue that nothing about predictability sounds fun or rewarding.  In fact, what is really exciting about life and this whole human experience is that we do not, in fact, get to pick or plan how our days will play out, and we are called to live instead by faith.

Ah, the most annoying of the f-words: FAITH.

What exactly is God asking of me when His word says to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)? My eyes work! What I see makes sense to me! And yet, here He is telling me to live NOT by what I see (not by what makes sense to my humanness) but instead, to live by what I do not see, and trust that He is taking care of the all the details that are currently unclear to my human eyes.

That sounds so contrary to what my body is physically designed for. And as a matter of fact, it is.

God is absolutely asking His children (myself included) to do the things that are not only contrary to our body’s design but also the culture of the world in which we live. The world will regularly tell you to take things at “face value” and believe what you see. But God, the Author and Creator of the Universe, tells us to trust in Him, and everything else will fall into place not only for our good but also to glorify him (Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

So I waste a lot of time trying to figure out or predict my life. I also expend unnecessary energy, and paint a picture of my future that is not only false, but also ugly. I cannot, in all of my fallibility, display an image of my life that even comes close to the masterpiece God has designed for me. As a matter of fact, I am GLAD God doesn’t allow my thoughts to turn into realities because that life, the one I am afraid of having, wouldn’t glorify Him in any way. In other words, I am glad His ways aren’t my ways, and His thoughts aren’t my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

When I meet Him (and I KNOW that day will come) I want nothing more than to rejoice in His goodness, His Grace, His mercy, and His love. And I will. That is one event I can absolutely predict. But right now, it is within my full capability to do all of that TODAY, not having to wait for some future date. I can (and should) rejoice in His goodness TODAY! Because it’s real, and it’s true, and nothing will ever change that. Not my overthinking, not my worry, not my fear: NOTHING.

I can only live one day at a time.

I can bank on the fact that I will meet God one day in Heaven.

Until then…I can enjoy His good gifts and promises one day at a time.

And that is a pattern worth following.