Just as a preface, this post is more personal. It's not like a call to everyone to live life and enjoy! It's more of revelations I have been having. So please forgive all the "I's" in this post. I hate writing about myself, but this topic of enjoying life is something that I am passionate about. Hopefully it will encourage someone and it wont just be that I'm talking to a wall about my life. But if that's the way it is... I hope that wall is a good listener. And is covered with yellow wallpaper.
Earlier this year, one of my good friends Kristen wrote this post about enjoying your life and living it to the fullest. I recommend the read. It's good. I was still in school and as I read it I nodded my head. "Yes! Yes! This is all so good! I want to enjoy life! Sign me up!" But life got away from me a bit too quickly. School! Homework! Late nights! Then of course, I went to Guatemala two days after I graduated. Quickest and most stressful transition of my life but also one of the most rewarding.
For the entirety of the summer, I had limited Internet access, no texting, and a lot of children to take care of. My days were full and challenging. However, when I got back into my room at the end of the evening, I would lay down and feel this extreme sense of productivity and peace and satisfaction that I have never felt before. It wasn't because I had sent that email or texted back that friend who had been waiting for three days nor was it because I had finished editing a session or writing a paper. It was because that day I had picked up a hurting child and given him a hug or I had slid down a muddy and soapy water slide just because my kiddos wanted to see me try or I had laughed my head off with the greatest team in the world. The list goes on. I ate homemade bread, took a walk through the woods, had given bedtime kisses, stargazed, worshiped my Savior, laid on the ground and let a child run around me singing songs in Spanish (all the while my clothes were getting filthy). By the end of the trip I felt challenged... yet rested. I found joy in the little things in life and felt completely content to rest in them. Enjoy them.
This summer I also spent more time in God than I had ever before. Every day was soaked up in Him. It was awesome. More breathtakingly beautiful than the volcanos we saw. More comforting than a simple word we could utter to a hurting child. More wonderful than any experience we could ever have (including zip lining... which was pretty wonderful). Turn your eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace // Helen Lemmel. I pray that's my theme song and prayer. That in enjoying life I would see the Creator behind it all, who made it all. For me to enjoy. For me to love. But for me to love Him first? That's the most important thing. I am able to enjoy life because Christ enjoyed me first. That sounds strange doesn't it? God enjoying us. But it's true. He enjoys being with us. He loves to hear us pray to Him. He delights over us with singing. Isn't that COOL? Yes. It is.
This next year I am taking a year off, or a gap year as all of the cool kids are saying. The plan is to work, take pictures, and enjoy life. Go out for spontaneous ice-cream runs. Travel. Enjoy my family. Blog more. Be unplugged sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I am so so grateful for technology. It is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind and I definitely use it daily. ;) But I feel that personally I could do less. I don't need to update Facebook everyday. Who cares if no one knows that I'm eating a turkey/lettuce/cheese sandwich? Or if I don't Instagram the picture of my newest creation... it doesn't matter. To me, living is more important than documenting that living. I can do both, so you will find me out there with a camera. Duh. But I hope that I'm soaking up more moments instead of worrying about what part of my day I can tweet.