Remember the unsourced funk? How I was going to take some time to reflect and pray? I did something else instead. Last weekend I missed church because of Bubs’ illness. Hubs was still in Atlanta, so I was housebound. I decided to pull up the archived message and listen to it as I ate lunch. It thumped me right between the eyes.

We’ve been exploring the stories of Daniel and how to live in faith and experience worldly success. The message I had missed was about how to live in the valleys. Life isn’t a steady climb to the mountaintop, and the idea that how you live in those valleys — in those seasons you wish would be done — determines how (and if) you ever escape from them.

Damn.

This idea that constantly looking over the horizon and thinking, “I’ll just be happy when this season is over,” or “I’ll be able to live more fully once _____ happens,” that is preventing us from living faithfully in the present. And all we really have is the present. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, and we aren’t guaranteed to get out of the valley we may be in right now.

That message was the absolute kick in the pants I needed today. Here’s how I’m applying it:

  1. I’m not going to wait until I look “good” to be in photos with my family and my kids.
    I was planning to hold off on having a talented photographer take photos of the family until I got closer to my goal weight — which will be potentially years from now. No. I want to capture images of my family as it is right now, because I’m not guaranteed Christmas, let alone Christmas cards. 
  2. The kids deplete my battery but this season is worth celebrating.
    Do you remember how hard I prayed and how hard I longed for Bubs? He was literally an answered prayer. He may be a handful, and together with Peanut they may play my nerves like a fiddle, but they are by far the biggest blessings in my life.
  3. Quit justifying cheating.
    Remember that chart I made? The one that showed that I was well on track toward the slow and steady march to my goal weight? Well, to be completely honest, I allowed that to justify the crap I ate when I was stressed. “Oh, I’m well on my way to my goal so I’ll make myself a s’more for dessert tonight.” Stop it. Those sugar bombs after dinner are literally sabotaging all the work I put in all day.
  4. Do uncomfortable things.
    I’m going back to Zumba Thursday. I’m going to stay the entire time. I won’t learn the moves until I learn the moves, and I won’t look graceful doing the moves until I learn them. The women I admired at that first class? They’ve probably gone twice a week for months, if not years. If I want to shake my groove thing, I need to get out there and shake my groove thing.
  5. Pray.
    Hubs suggested when I was struggling last weekend that I pray about it. I did and it worked. I have faith that I can pray about it and I may not see immediate results, but I have evidence throughout my life that when the results are supposed to show up, by golly they will.

Here’s to valleys and seasons, and thriving in spite of them.