Anyone who knows me or my family knows we have an inner exuberance and elation for squeezing every last drop out of life. We tend to live life to its fullest, grabbing hold of life by the horns. After all, life is meant to be lived, out there in the game, not on the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong, we all need time on the bench, moments to refuel, catch our breath and grab a snapshot of the bigger picture BUT we aren’t meant to stay there indefinitely!
Is life just a perfect happy go lucky kind of round up? Ha, nowhere near if we are going to be honest here. Life, however, is meant to be lived without borders, to be experienced, breathed in and enjoyed, unpleasant or delightful moments alike. We aren’t promised a never-ending fairy tale with a pre-approved happily-ever-after seal stamped across our foreheads. Life, when it comes down to it is all about adaptability. We have to take part in the challenge of life together, adapt, compromise and give up our “my way or the high way” mentality if we want to experience real happiness. If we tend to avoid conflict, fear the unknown, reject change and ignore self-evaluation we end up a hot mess. Life isn’t all roses and unicorns; it’s honest to goodness down right hard if I do say so myself. We’re not meant to avoid difficulties or live with blinders on; life is about growing, taking part in the process of our own adventures. If we are always running how in the world will we ever have the opportunity to stop and smell the roses?
Life lesson #33, we all need boundaries. One, they keep us grounded but two they also develop our ability to navigate uncharted territory without falling into the abyss. The thing about boundaries is they don’t actually confine, us, they really free us, ensuring we can live a life without defined borders.
So when I say I have lived a life without restraint or borders, I have absolutely known love, pain, struggle and blessings unconditionally. Life with all her difficulties has offered me gifts I can’t even begin to account for. I’ve lived this life of mine with a freedom that’s allowed me to experience life without fearing the detours. In all my off road trips, through the back roads I’ve been down, I’ve come to an un-reckonable understanding. Life’s wait a minute vines are not there to hinder me, but to redirect me, pushing me forward not backward. Happiness is not a product of a perfect existence or a byproduct of some abstract scheme or planned outcome. Instead, happiness is a direct result of His enduring and unfathomable joy present in our lives. We can't plan our happy ending, we just have to find joy in the moments leading us there.Believe me, we’re not happy, happy, happy in everything going on around us, it’s just we’ve learned to live without borders, in the moment, good or bad. And that’s the key, where our whole foundation lies, in a deep, unbreakable, impenetrable joy. What I’ve personally come to understand about life is it isn’t a performance, meant to be showcased or placed on display. Life is about living with the bumps, bruises and scars we acquire along the way included. If life is anything, it’s unpredictable. The sooner we learn to embrace this idea, the lighter our load becomes. So when you see images into our family’s little moments I hope ya’ll understand they aren’t there to depict a perfect, happy life. Our lives are anything but ordinary but as far from perfect as you can get. We make mistakes, screw up, fumble and fall down all day long. Those snapshots, they’re not meant to exclude the sorrows inside our lives, but to frame our joy in spite of them.
What I know is this: True happiness comes from accountability, an ownership of sorts, counting every moment we have as pure joy, unpleasant or not! We should never be afraid of hardship, of failure or even of loss because without them we are nothing. I do not fear the struggle life offers; however the absence of the struggle does indeed scare me. So my prayer as this week begins is for the presence of real, unbreakable joy in your lives. Count every bit of it, blunders and elations alike as what they are, life lessons, and not fatal slip ups. We’re not meant to merely convince ourselves we’re happy, but to truly be happy. I simply encourage you to take life by the horns, drop your pretenses, take off the mask and begin truly, fully living life from a place of unspeakable joy!
Keep in mind being inspirational is not the goal, to be inspired is! So just remember when you’re at the end of your rope to remind yourself what James 1: 2 says, “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials” (NET).