I have been married just over six months to my husband and yes, we are still in the newlywed stage of our marriage, but I do have to say that his heart reflects the heart of Christ to me every day. Each morning my husband asks me the question, "So, what are you going to do that is nice for yourself today?" I admit, for the longest time this question stumped me. It was so engrained in me to look at the tail end of my day and ask, "So what did I do (get accomplished) today?"
The answer to the second question was often a litany of how many loads of laundry I did, how many phone calls I made, bills that I paid, dog puke I cleaned up off the rug, hockey practices run to...it was the "post-game analysis" and always came across as a way of proving my worth and value. It focused on "doing" rather than "being".
The first question offers a preemptive strike on the beginning of the day and it carries a whole different slant. It assumes the notion that you are special and that you deserve to do something nice for yourself in this day that God has given you.
Many of us know the second half of John 10:10: I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly (to the full).
We know this verse, but we don't claim it for ourselves. We deem that it is somehow selfish to carve out some time just for ourselves in a day. In actuality we are very good at tuning into the first part of that verse: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy...
How often do we let the enemy steal our joy from our day by stealing our time?
Ann Voskamp (a favorite writer of mine) says, "All men will live out the length of their days...but very few will live out the width of their life." We view life as linear - the shortest distance from Point A to Point B, when in reality God would have us live the width of our life - the vast, expansive, full part of our lives.
So how then do we live wide as well as long? The book of Ecclesiastes talks about enjoying our earthly life and using the gifts God has given us to His glory.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15)
There is a time to laugh, dance, embrace as well as a time to work and plant and gather.
What would you like to carve out a time for in YOUR day? What are You going to do nice for yourself today? Do you know that God smiles when He sees you doing things you enjoy? Do you know that He treasures you because you are His precious child? If we want our children to have joy in life, how much more so does God want us to experience that same joy? We are HIS children no matter how old we get.
I admit that I secretly didn't like the Proverbs 31 Woman. I don't know if I was jealous or resentful, but she just got on my nerves. She is a virtuous woman, a wonderful wife; she works with her hands; she provides food for her family; she rises early, plants a vineyard, lays her hands on the spindle to weave fine clothes. She helps the poor; she is wise, kind; her children arise and call her blessed...Okay really? I get that she works hard and seemingly is able to do it all.
But catch Proverbs 31:25: She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Yes, folks, she can laugh. LAUGH!! Rejoice, because she knows who she is in Christ. She knows what the future brings and therefore can enjoy life today!
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." (Proverbs 15:3)
What makes your face cheerful? Have you planned that into your day today?
I remember when my children were little and they took such joy in the simple things. Even a rainy day could bring joy. Bathing suits would come flying out of drawers and umbrellas popped open and little bare toes would do rain puddle dances that rivaled that of Gene Kelly in "Singing In The Rain".
My piano has sat with keys collecting dust. I was always convinced I was too busy to "waste" my time playing the piano. But, the keys that make music to my ears also make music to my Maker's ears and I do believe that He delights in what delights us.
How will you let the Lord delight in you today?
In case you need a little extra convincing, here are a few more verses to encourage you to grab your camera, hop on your bike, lace up your running shoes, crack open a book, get out your gardening tools or your knitting needles...for the men who read my blog - nothing delights more than the revving of power tools lol.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
If you, then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
There are times to weep and be sad, but God in His grace and mercy has given us times to be happy and joyful and to do something nice for ourselves each day.
So, again, I ask you, "What are you going to do nice for yourself today?" Will you be kind enough to share how your day goes when you do choose to do something nice for yourself? Be blessed...
In His love,
ps. Please know that if you read this post today you are being prayed for every morning and every evening :)