Saturday, January 3, 2015

My One Little Word 2015 - Mindful

My Little Word for 2015 is “mindful.”  [I'm participating in Ali Edwards' annual 12-month journey.]

 As I turn 58 this year, I am “mindful” of the fact that my life is finite and that each day I am given is truly a gift.  How many years have I gone through life either so self-absorbed or mindless that each day mattered?  Half-asleep?

At work, we are doing a yearlong series on “practicing mindfulness.”  As much as it is trying to not focus on this, there is no question that mindfulness is a concept of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Transcendental Meditation.  That’s a shame, because I do believe my Christian life is to be one that is mindful…and it has nothing to do with the world’s definition.

As a child, my pastor, Rev. Smith, wrote in my autograph book (do they even have those anymore?) “Only one life,’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”  It has been on my mind for weeks.

 I want to be aware of life as it comes by each moment by moment.  Every action is purposeful and means something (and not all is positive).  But if I am not mindful of it, how can I correct or adjust?

One night last week I got into bed so mindful of the warmth and security of those plaid flannel sheets in bed.  What else have I missed through hurry?

 I also chose this word so that I take responsibility over the daily choices I make.  This can be with regard to what I eat, what I say, what I think, what I deny, what I avoid, what I write, how I write or say something, what I do with my time, what I don’t do with my time, when I go to bed, when I get up, how I spend my time-talents-treasures (to coin a phrase from Howard Duma), how I respond, how I nurture myself and others, what I give, when I give, how I give, and on-and-on.

 Maybe I’m at the time of my life where I start to experience irreplaceable losses as if I’m running out of time.  My parents are now both gone to heaven.  My mother’s best friend, Mary, who is such a strong connection to my mother, turns 80 this year. 

I have a husband, a son, a daughter, three grandsons, patients/families, coworkers, neighbors, strangers that I come across every single day.  How can I make a difference if I am not mindful?  How can I leave a mark that points to Jesus if I’m not mindful of my own accountability? 

Life goes fast.  It is a gift.  I want to be mindful with every ounce I have and soak it all in out of gratitude to my God and Savior, who is ever mindful of me.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year and Wrap-Up

My 31-day series on Renewal of the Mind was quite the journey for me.  Not only convicting, but also forced me to dig deeper on a subject that can be life changing.

One of the insights I have gained is how my mind is renewed by practicing gratitude regularly.  I see gifts and blessings from God when I stop to see.  I cannot be grateful and complain simultaneously.  And gratitude is not just lip service, but comes from the deep caverns of one's heart.

"The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want (for anything)." 
Psalm 23:1 (italicized my addition)

If you are interested in digging deeper into renewing your mind or practicing gratitude in your walk with Christ, I would encourage you to read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp and/or "Idol Lies" by Dee Brestin.  I will be...AGAIN!

Happy New Year.  May 2015 be a transforming year for you as God continues to complete the work that He has begun.