Hello, dear reader. How are you today?
Learning to take life one day at a time is not something we can easily do. Having got through the last year, where everything was shrouded by great uncertainty; led to a lot of worry. I am someone who is fixated on what is to come; even within a day when I have something to do at a certain time. My mind becomes so fixated on that situation until it is complete. It means I lose a lot of my day in apprehension over how something will go. I have been working on trying to be more present. Many of you reading this, may have similar struggles too. These are practices I have started to implement to help me be more present and to take life, one day at a time.
One of the passages my bible naturally opens on is, Matthew 6; which is the do not worry passage. Maybe it is just due to me reading it often, but I also like to think it is because God knows what it on my heart. Even when I am struggling to pray, reading this passage alone offers me a lot of peace.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (6:27)
The reality is worrying does not add anything to my life or your life, it simply just takes from us. Let us admit there will always be something to be anxious about. Whether it be through our own actions or the actions of others.
In taking it One day at a time, we need to learn how to cope and how to surrender control. There will be things which we need to take control of ourselves but there are many things we are not in control of. A lot of our worry and fears come down to what we cannot control.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I have been learning I am not the best at praying in my head or even out loud. At times it works but most of the time I am distracted. Sometimes there is too much going on in my mind to be able to switch off. I have started fully writing out all my prayers. It gives me time to focus on something while processing my thoughts. One of the best factors of learning to write out my prayers is the time it gives me to slow down; I am quite a slow writer. As I take time to write it enables me to enter into a place of peace. It reminds me there is only so much which can be achieved within a day and reminds me I am not alone in all I am facing. It helps me to be more present and allows me to find a level of contentment and understanding.
It is okay to cry and to not have it all together. It is okay to be emotional. I am someone who cries quite a bit. Honestly, crying me helps me to let things go. It does make me feel better. I do not often cry with people; it is normally something I do in my personal space. Sometimes I do cry in front of people, it is okay. It may be a little embarrassing, but it shows my humanity. Having emotions does not make us weak, it makes us human. In each day we face, we encounter many people and many situations. Sometimes what we thought would be a perfect day, turns possibly into one of our worst days. We do not have to pretend that it is okay. Situations and people hurt us but on the other hand situations and people bring us joy and love. It is okay to be you. Even if people do not get you at times, I can guarantee there will be people you do not understand too.
Show grace to yourself. I could probably write for a long time about the horrible things I say about myself on a daily basis. It is something I am trying to improve on, but it is a hard mindset to get out of. It takes time to rewire your brain and to fill it with things that are true and an honest reflection of who you are. Truly, I am clumsy, I get confused and a little forgetful at times, it just who I am. I have to understand that due my weaknesses, it does not give me the right to speak horrible things over my life. E.g, ‘Oh you are so stupid and an idiot, you never get anything right’. As a perfect example, as I was writing this, I managed to spill coffee on the sleeve of my cream cardigan. I had to go and ask for some help to get it out. In less than five minutes the stain was gone, and I am back writing this. Honestly, I do struggle with speaking truthful and honest words over my life. I am extremely hard on myself. It does come out in my behaviour; I do struggle to take a compliment. In learning to take it one day at a time, I am learning to be a little more graceful towards myself. If you struggle with the same thing too, may you learn to show yourself grace. It is not easy to admit our weaknesses, once we learn that there are things we struggle with. It is only then; we can begin to implement practises which can help us deal with our struggles.
In surrendering control, I also trust in the words found in 2 Corinthians 12. It is Paul speaking about his own experience, but I trust in the same God who enabled Paul to face his weaknesses also does the same for me.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Weaknesses are part of being human, but it does not mean they have to stop us living a full and beautiful life.
Show grace to one another too. Sometimes when we pick apart every part of ourselves it can lead us to pick apart the people around us. It is not a nice thing to admit but sometimes I find it hard to show grace to others. Like I mentioned beforehand, sometimes I/we do not understand why people act the way they do. In reality we all have different ways of how we cope with life. As I work to show myself grace and understanding, it enables me to show the same if not more to the people around me.
If you bite and devour each other, watch or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:15)
Taking each day at a time, teaches me to listen to my body. Most mornings I make a list of things I would like to do and achieve by the end of the day. I am someone who tends to like to get things done. Truthfully, I am not the best at resting and I tend to like to be productive for the sake of being productive. I was watching a YouTube video a couple of weeks ago and they were talking about productivity, which you know is all the range at the moment. They talked about being productive for the sake of being productive and how pointless it is. It is good to be productive, but it is good to rest too.
I have noticed especially during the lockdowns there are days when I feel exhausted and my mind does actually need time to reset and to be at peace. Sometimes that happens on days when I want to get a blog done or write a sermon. I have had to learn to rest and allow my body to reset. Honestly, my work can wait. I am someone who likes to prepare a week or two in advance because I detest rushing. I have been learning to give myself a few hours or even to wait until the next day to get stuff done. The world does not end just because I was not productive for a day and I end up feeling a lot better.
I understand not everyone is able to do that, once I start work again I cannot suddenly call in and say I do not feel like it. Sometimes we will have to push through on those days when our bodies would rather rest and our minds are in overdrive. Those days are tough but have stuff in place to allow yourself to unwind and rest once that day is done.
Taking life one day at a time, means taking life just as it comes. Some days will be beautiful and other days will be a struggle. It is allowing myself and yourself to know peace and contentment in whatever we may face. Even when I have a hard day, I have been learning to do something which brings me joy. Whether I am at work and I grab a coffee on my lunch break, turning on a song which makes me feel better or losing myself in a chapter of a book.
In brutal honesty, tomorrow is never guaranteed. It is worth living life presently, to allow yourself to live one day at a time. To surround yourself with loved ones, to enjoy what the day has to offer and to face challenges. You may not always feel comfortable with what life gives you. Truthfully, some if not most of us will deal with some level of hardship. I trust you will know, there is always hope. Even if you have made some mistakes in the past year and you are finding it hard to pick up the pieces. Sometimes it takes time and a whole lot of grace, but you will get there.
Let us not wish today away. We have been gifted this day. There is time to bless, serve, and care for someone. The world is not a perfect place, but you have been given this wonderful chance to live; may we live our life well.
I am going to put some links to some charities down below, if you need to talk to someone or need some help in an area of your life.
Allow yourself time to process and work through areas in your life.
Know you are prayed for and you are always welcome to leave a prayer request down below.
Have a blessed week. Love Victoria. (Who is trying to learn to take life One day at a time.)
You can also find CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) , unfortunately the link would not work.