As I pray and wait to hear from God what career exactly I should be striving towards (I’m leaning towards professional mud wrestler), I have also been envisioning how I want to live my life, no matter what that looks like. Peace, welcome, and joy are the three words I really want to define my aura, for lack of a better word. My life.
Peace: This is something constantly paired with faith in God. It is not based on circumstances, it is a calm and quiet spirit that gives rest to the person it resides in, and it extends a soothing influence to others. I want to have so much peace that I have “vacation mode” relaxation all the time. It’s a choice, though. I have to choose to trust instead of react negatively to uncontrollable circumstances.
Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” -John 14:27
Welcome: Whether I end up in my little cottage in the country, or by the sea, or in a little African village, I want to be a woman who welcomes others, both into my home and my heart. I have never wanted a grand house, but I want CHARACTER, and a place that people are drawn to stay and talk, play games, pray, eat, laugh, relax, make music..I would love to create an environment of warmth and comfort. I also want to welcome people into my heart and life, to be a faithful friend and confidant, and to let others know they are worthy of love and friendship. This is a true desire, but not necessarily easy for me, because sometimes I just want to watch Netflix movies that have a two and a half star rating (Dear Santa! Anyone?) and not deal with other people. Love takes work.
Matthew 25:34-46 ” Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
I want to do all of that. Like Bob Goff says, ” Love Does.”
Joy: I hizate being around complaining, negative people. It’s a real soul-suck. That being said, I am known to channel Eeyore now and then. Life hurts sometimes, and the fair is only in town once a year (side note: FUNNEL CAKE.) I want to choose joy. Let’s be honest, we all hate anyone who could possibly earn the nickname “Mary Sunshine”, but I think it’s possible to be both realistic AND optimistic. Because God. That’s my only reason and it’s the only one I need. This so-called “Opiate of the Masses” has spoken out loud to me and answered my prayers in ways too statistically impossible to not be from Him. So, if I can believe in His existence and character, I also have assurance of His love, protection, and salvation. When we have a vacation coming up, we can stand to get through that last week of work. In the same way, knowing I have an amazing future with God can allow me to put all of the mundane tasks and hindrances of everyday life into a “just for a little while” category, and for now, recognizing the importance of my interactions with people and God in the present lets me place worth and meaning in the days and years ahead. Joy is a heart that is thankful and glad. Even when life is looking grey and ominous, joy fills our soul with color and cheer. Haters gon’ hate, but wouldn’t we rather be an uplifting influence rather than being someone who drags people down into our misery?
Psalm 33:21: For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
I think WHO we want to be is more important than WHAT we want to be. Building character, just as building a career, takes work. The mind and will are powerful, though, and God is our constant friend, companion and helper. Nothing can stop us when we choose to live life in a way that shows how good He is. So, I choose a life and legacy of peace, joy, and welcome. What are your three words?
-Ang, the peaceful, welcoming, joyful mud wrestler. Hmmm, maybe not.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit ~ Romans 15:13
*reposted from January, 2015*