A Game-Changing Life

Mountain View Pool Water Abstract

At what point to we choose to say, “this is my life, and insomuch as I can control, I’m going to carve out a life of my choosing”?

I realize how absurd this statement will be for people. Some will think, “this is selfish, God is in control, you choose nothing.” Another group will think, “of course you can and should choose how you will live your life. God gave it to you.”

I’m in the camp, currently, that thinks there is some truth in a life of our choosing. While we can’t control certain circumstances or outcomes in this life (God is, actually, in control), we can navigate our everyday choices to bring us a life that is fulfilled and has meaning. And I think we should. All too often I dream of the ideals I have regarding homeschooling, homemaking, raising kiddos, being an intentional wife, writing, etc, but I quickly dismiss them as being something I will never live up to. I drown them, and when I do this, I am choosing to forgo a life that could be had with some discipline. Yes, I’m tired, and yes, life with little ones is depleting most days, so much so that the thought of doing anything else in life (or in my home, for that matter) is almost laughable. But here’s the rub: I can choose pieces of my life in which to puzzle together, even if I can’t design the shape of the pieces.

I can’t control that my two-year old is a wild woman (I am working on civilizing her!). I can control whether or not I take the time to enjoy her and steer her unfettered spirit towards the things of God.

I can’t control that I’m achingly tired at the end of the day, but I can choose to close my computer and spend intentional time with my husband before diving into dreamland.

I can’t control the blips in a homeschool day (does anything go as planned?!), but I can continue to plan out our days so that my children and I have a consistent flow.

I can’t control whether or not I will become a published author (with a traditional publishing house), but I can use my words where they are to (hopefully) bring a message of hope to women.

I can’t control the fact that I can’t afford a maid and a mother’s helper consistently, but I can choose to utilize my time in more effective ways (again with the computer…).

Are you picking up what I’m putting down? I don’t believe in lifestyle design, but I do believe in being mature enough to choose the little things that make the unique puzzle of your life something worth working on…something that will one day be framed in the memories of your children’s minds. As opposed to just “maintaining” your life (which, let’s be honest, some days are).

I think our lives glorify God when we take an active, submissive role in the life He gives us.  He envelopes us, but we swim in the fullness of this life.

And as Dory says, I’m going to “just keep swimming…”

___

Photo Credit: Mountain View Pool Water

16 Coffee Talks on “A Game-Changing Life”

  1. For many summers, when our kids were young, we took high school students to Europe on short term missions trips. What you describe here matched my actions. I controlled everything that I could to be in my favor and my kids (we had good food, fun toys, naptimes , a tent that didn't leak) etc. because it made it easier to handle and trust God with all the things we couldn't control . . . horrible weather, getting sick, early travel mornings, etc. Is this what you mean?

    fondly,
    Glenda

  2. Jan says:

    I think we have a huge choice in choosing our life direction. My words may cause confusion and confrontation but I think it's easy to hid behind "God is in control." It's a victim mentality that I've had to take a look at because I know He has given me strengths and gifts for me to use on a day-to-day basis. Look at nature and it's beauty and the world and it's intricacies. There are choices and variations. There is so much beauty and contrast.

    There is so much that we can't control – but we can choose to follow Him in a vivid abundant way.

    • Sarah Mae says:

      I agree!

    • @kalynbr00ke says:

      In addition, I think we have to be careful at becoming too passive with our life direction. Sometimes I find myself saying, "Ok God, whatever you want me to do, you are going to have to show me because I'm done trying to figure it out!" I soon realize although I do need to rely on Him, He has also given me the power to make my own choices. Therefore, I have to be pro-active and not complacent.

  3. SJBeals says:

    Cracking up at the "my two year old is a wild woman" comment. My father in law is a pastor and he always joked that our children are born as barbarians, and we have about 6 years to civilize them. :) I believe that we have a choice…else why would there be consequences for our good/bad choices. We certainly do reap what we sow….and for the things we don't have control over, we have a choice as to how we respond. With godliness or grumpiness.
    Have a wonderful day!

  4. Dude, get out of my brain! Seriously, this post is speaking to me deeply, thank you for it.

    • Sarah Mae says:

      Muhahahahahahahahaha…

  5. Carrie says:

    I say "Keep Swimming" all.the.time. That, and, "Lord, if you don't do something, I'm going down fast!" That's part of praying without ceasing.

    Snort

  6. Crystal says:

    He does allow us to choose so much.. and what GRACE He gives in those areas! I'm learning a lot about 'walking in the Spirit"… we choose to walk. We're not a puppet! Walking requires us to get up and move! It's 'active, submissive' and done on purpose! Thanks for these words!

  7. I do't have a little one any more, my only will be starting his senior year in high school. I find myself looking at a young man where my little boy use to stand. All that to say seasons in our life will change the choices that we make and the things that we do will change but, Jesus should and needs to be our constant. God does give us free will, therefore we have choices that we make. Sarah Mae it sounds like you are making good choices.

  8. Rebecca Knox says:

    I am almost 50 years old and am just now learning what you have put into words here. I love, love, LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing! <3

  9. Hi Sarah! My 2 year old CJ and 5 year TJ have been OD'ing on Finding Nemo, so I totally had a moment with you there with Dory! :) I am right there with you sister, even though I don't home school, I still "life" school and "faith" school my children. You and I are doing the dance of faith — where we run free to build our sandcastles in the lot God has placed us in. ;) Happy we're neighbors on this mommy/writing playground here, sweet Sarah. Love and hugs across this digital table!

  10. Jen says:

    I finished a book yesterday called Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell. I highly recommend it. This school year has been extremely tough on me, which makes it difficult for my daughter. We still have about 4 weeks left of school, I can't wait for this year to end, but I still want to make the best of it. This book has been an encouragement to me. I sat in Teri Maxwell's sessions at CHAP's homeschool convention. Anyway, their site is titus2.com you should check it out when you have time. It's all good!

  11. Amanda M. says:

    That is wonderfully put! It isn't the struggles before us that shape us, it is how we react to them. And some of the most difficult struggles are the constant and often mundane of everyday living. We can shut ourselves down and just get through each day or we can lift our heads and try to walk in the feet of Jesus and LIVE everyday! My daughter reminds me of this all the time because she doesn't see the dishes that are piling up or the laundry that needs to get done. All she sees is Mommy and a ball and she wants to play. I'm focusing on that little girl right now. There will always be laundry and there is always be dishes, but that little girl is only going to want to play with her Mommy for a short time. I'm going to take advantage of that while I can.

  12. Megan says:

    I've thought a lot about this over the past few years, and I think I've concluded similarly: God gives us freedom to choose the details. All He wants is for us to love Him and love people, no matter what avenue we choose to do that. Anyone else agree?

  13. marygems says:

    I so empathized when you commented that you have no control over what people are going to throw at us, or the many emergencies that crop up that simply have to be dealt with. As an older lady, all I can say is that starting the day with a prayer asking God to direct my day and asking for protection of my emotions so that i don't use up valuable energy unnecessarily- helps tremendously.I ask Him to pinpoint what is important, and what to just let go.I used to think I had to answer the phone even if it was inconvenient. and over time I learnt His priorities and just ignored it if it was more important for me to keep doing what i was doing. James 1 tells us to ask for wisdom, and I often do- it helps so much ! One surprising answer is: do something fun for YOU~! It's lovely to hear Him say that. I'm sure you're making great choices. keep on keeping on, faithful woman!!

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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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