Here is this worn and weary land, where many dream has died is how the new Casting Crowns song Thrive begins. Our local Christian radio station has been playing this a lot lately and asking “How are you thriving?” It has really touched my heart in such a way that I cannot describe it.
After listening to the whole song one morning on my way to work I thought I’m not thriving… I’m barely surviving. It was a scary and depressing thought. Over the next week, I contemplated it over and over again. And became a little more depressed as time wore on. Just like the song said. Of course the song goes on to say that it’s the Lord that helps us to thrive and we need to seek Him in order to do so.
Casting Crowns even has a devotional series set up for this if you’re interested. Just click the picture above to go see what it’s all about. I know I will be.
So I set out to do that.
I get up every morning, get myself ready for my job that I don’t really like, spend eight hours behind that desk – coping with what’s there – then I’m off home and the list of chores waiting there. I take on too much so that’s half the issue. I go to zumba (for my health right?), plus I sometimes go to the gym after work and then there’s choir (for the church’s health) – so there is at least three nights of my week already. Some weeks I have writer’s group – so that’s four nights. That leaves one night to catch up on things I’d like to do, spend time with my family, and get all the chores done. Somewhere among the to do list there is making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, cleaning the house (what’s that? I think I may have forgotten this one lately), finding time with my spouse to keep our marriage viable and taking care of the pooch (okay, he takes a little less time then children do, but it’s still a lot of work sometimes.)
What time do I have left to thrive? I’m exhausted by the end of each and every day.
Thrive as defined my Websters: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.
Okay. So what’s my goal? I guess I am progressing towards… something (death it seems like is the only thing I’m progressing towards some days.)
So what is my goal? What do I want to be progressing towards?
Here is a short list of goals – not only for me to have them written down, but also to inspire you as well as ask you to help me keep on track.
1) More time spent writing. Right now, there is barely time for ten minutes. The muse barely wakes up during that time so not a whole lot has been written lately. And what has been written isn’t all that good. I want to make money from my writing. It doesn’t have to be a lot – but I want it to be something. Something that is MINE. For me, my job isn’t my money. It pays the bills and it’s there. It’s helping us to survive. The goal is to thrive.
2) A stronger relationship with my husband. I want to get back to how it was when we were dating. I have this picture of the two of us during dating times. We’re both laughing. I’m leaning into him. You can see the love. Even our wedding picture doesn’t have that kind of love bursting out from the page. I want that back.
3) Be closer to my God. I don’t even know what this takes anymore to be honest. He is the author of me, He cares about me so deeply and yet I can barely give Him two minutes of my day. Maybe that’s the place to start.
So what do I need to do in order to make these things happen? Find more time in my day? Quit my day job? I don’t think so. I read a blog yesterday (you can read it here) that said I need to make time for what I want. I need to include it in my habits. I don’t do that. Everything else comes first. Work, church, chores – for my own house and for others, favors for friends, and the like. But not my own stuff. Not the stuff that matters to me.
No. What I need to do is take the three items above in place them in reverse order. 1) God. 2) My husband 3) My writing/my goals/dreams. When I start with God He will adjust my thought process and help me to focus on what’s truly important in my life. Work, chores and the like will fall below these three items. As they should. They will be secondary.
Come on – let’s try it together. I’m going to document my achievements and struggles here on a weekly basis. And I want your comments on how you’re thriving and not just surviving.
We know that we were made for so much more than ordinary lives. It’s time for us to more than just survive. We were made to Thrive. ~ Casting Crowns
Tell me three things you want to focus on in the next month in the comments below. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. Let’s give it a shot. Then I hope you update me on how it’s going along the way. The first step is… making the first step in a new direction. We can do it!