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When my kids were teenagers, occasionally, during a full-on “Mom” moment, I would state the obvious to my kids, which of course led to eye rolling and comments such as, “No duh, Mom!” But as a mom, I felt and still feel, that sometimes you need to state the obvious. Sometimes we miss important and valuable thought processes when we stop seeing those important things staring us in the face. So in my turning-lemons-into-lemonade manner, I took those opportunities with my kids and created what I affectionately call The Bleeding Obvious Game. Following one of my obvious statements (e.g. If you don’t turn your homework in, your grades will suffer…), I would state another ‘bleeding obvious’ thing—something silly like, “Pain hurts; the sky is blue; the dog is furry.” Then I would toss it to the kids with, “Your turn!” Then they would join in, stating other bleeding obvious things, turning a potentially tense teenager moment into a few fun ones. We always ended up laughing!
Today, I’m going to play The Bleeding Obvious Game with you! For example—are you ready? Here it comes…. Life is hard. (Pretty obvious, huh?) Here’s another one: The Christian life is hard. (No, it’s not sacrilegious to say that!) And here’s one more: Ministry work is hard. (Can I get an “Amen!”?)
I know you know these things. They are as obvious as the nose on your face. But sometimes we simply accept the difficult nature of life and keep pushing forward without ever taking a look at why life is so hard. Sometimes we beat ourselves up for failing miserably in these situations, and simply go on. Often we either buck up and steel ourselves against the day ahead, or we moan, groan, or lament—openly or secretly—because we know what’s coming and we are dreading it. Sometimes we call this process growing up, being mature, or taking responsibility. For the record, I’m not disagreeing that we need to be responsible, only about how we handle our responsibilities.
So why is life so hard? Your answer might be the “No duh” stuff, such as finances, relationships, my boss, my kids, my husband, my job…or a thousand other circumstances that may be making your life hard. But what I’m hoping to accomplish in this entry is to get you to begin to see beyond the circumstances to what lies behind them. For example, for years a friend of mine struggled in her marriage. Her husband could be “a real jerk” sometimes (her words, not mine), which always caused tension between them. Many years into their marriage, however, they learned that he was bipolar. Suddenly his being a jerk took on a new perspective. With the proper diagnosis and medication for her husband, and counseling for them both, they were able to work through the issues that were making their marriage difficult. Looking past the circumstances and identifying a root cause helped them recognize the tools they needed to begin to make their marriage better.
My point here is that for every difficulty we encounter in life, there is something more to it. That something more may be a simple attitude that needs adjustment, or it may be a startling revelation that requires some focused attention, problem solving, goal setting, creating a plan of action, or making other life adjustments. Sometimes the simple awareness of what is behind the stressor is itself the most important thing. The choice, then, is to either ignore the newly discovered information and keep responding to the situation in the same ineffective manner, hoping for a different result (which, by the way, is one definition of insanity!), or to decide to do something about it. Sometimes figuring out what to do is obvious; sometimes it’s not. But one thing is certain; sorting out such things is always better with someone, especially someone you can trust to be honest, objective, and trustworthy.
My encouragement to you today, is to start taking a closer look at the circumstances that are making your life hard, and enlist the help of someone who will be honest, objective, and trustworthy to help you sort through them. The truth is that life doesn’t have to be so hard! You were made for so much more than to merely survive every day so you can go on to survive it again tomorrow. You were created to thrive! You were created to live the abundant life of joy, peace, and purpose—every day, no matter what! And that is what this blog is about. Jesus said,
“I have come that they (Believers) may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27)
Maybe, if you’re like me, you grew up hearing these things in church. You may believe them, as I always have, with all your heart. But like me, you may not know how to live life in this way. The question I always asked was, “How?” “How do I live the abundant life? How do I live in the peace Jesus ‘gave’ me? How do I keep my heart from being troubled or fearful?” When I couldn’t figure out the answers I assumed the problem was me; I was failing (which is self-condemnation), or it was someone else (which is blame). For the record, neither self-condemnation nor blame ever solves anything.
This blog is about answering those questions, and more…much more! In the past few years I have begun to learn how to live out the promises God gave us in Scripture; promises that, when we learn how to appropriately apply them to our life, we can learn to live the life God created us for—a life of freedom from all the things that discourage us, disrupt our day, or destroy our peace and joy. Join me as I share the things I continue to learn about living the life of Much More. It is a life of more peace, more joy, more purpose, and more satisfaction than I ever dreamed was possible! As children of the Living God, you and I were made for so much more….
Living the Life,
(To learn more about me and how I can help, click the About button!)