Thursday, September 23, 2010

Live Beautiful

My friend Courtney over at live beautiful has made a list of ways to live a beautiful life, and has challenged us to make our own. So while I was cleaning up our house yesterday I made my own list of ways to live a beautiful life. These are things, in no particular order, I try to do everyday, some with more success than others.

~ Enjoy the moment.
There was a time in my life when I had so much anxiety about the future that I couldn't enjoy the present. I missed out on some great things while I was in college, but I learned from that experience. You can't get today back, so just enjoy it.

~ Be open to change.
I used to hate change, and I'm still not it's biggest fan. But change is a part of life, and it is necessary. Change can bring about great things, if we are open to it. But so many times we miss out because we are so focused on the way things used to be.

~ Follow your passion.
My pastor always says "you will never be happy until you are doing what God has created you to do." I couldn't agree more. Whatever it is you are passionate about in life, run with it. And if you don't know what you are passionate about, find out.

~ Forget Regret.
Or life is yours to miss. (Don't you just love Rent?) We all have failures, mistakes and things about our past that we would like to change. But we can't, what we can do is change our futures. So don't waste your time regretting something you can't change. Learn from your failures and move on.

~ Give it to God.
There are things, people, situations we can't change. So why waste your time worrying about it, or trying to fix it. It won't work. Give it to the only one who is capable of changing it. (I have to remind myself of this daily.)

~ Don't be afraid to fail.
Take that risk. If you fail, it's okay. You will never do anything worthwhile if you don't step out and try something new.

~ Be thankful.
So many times we are so focused on what we don't have we forget what we already do have. Count your blessings and remind yourself of all the wonderful things in your life.

~ Forgive and let go of bitterness.
Holding onto bitterness never helps you. Just because you forgive doesn't mean you are saying it is okay what that person did to you and it doesn't mean that person still needs to be in your life. As Sophia from the Golden Girls says "Bitterness is like shredded wheat stuck in your dentures, leave it there and it keeps making a wound, worse and worse. But take it out and the wound heals and goes away." It's so true.

~ Make sure people you love know how you feel.
I know this is so cliche, but it's so important. When my grandmother died unexpectedly it made me realize that sometimes there isn't a tomorrow, sometimes your time with someone ends early. I was glad my grandma knew I loved her and I made the time for her.

~ Tell your story.
All of us have a story. Things we have been through that have made us who we are. And so many times by sharing that story we can encourage others who might be going through the same thing.

~ Appreciate the way God has made you.
We focus so much on things we would like to change about ourselves. If God wanted me to have a different type of hair or eye color He would have made me that way. Psalm 139:13 says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God doesn't make junk, we are His masterpiece and we should see ourselves that way.

~ Live a balanced life.
We need to work, but we also need time to relax, play and serve others. If there is no balance between these life can get hard. If we work with no break we can burn out. If we play without ever serving others our life can lack purpose. Life is a balancing act.

~ Don't give up.
Anything in life that is worthwhile is hard, and takes perseverance. Randy Pausch from The Last Lecture says it well, "The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough."

~ Be positive.
The glass is either half empty or half full. You decide how you want to look at it, and it makes such a big difference.

~ Sometimes hurt feelings are good.
My favorite quote from my pastor is " God would rather hurt your feelings than hurt your future." Sometimes God closes doors. We don't get that job or things don't work out the way we would have liked them to. But God can see far more than we can, and He probably has something better down the road.

~ It's okay to be different.
My students have recently taught me this. They are different than the other students in school (they are handicapped and have developmental delays). They are perfect the way God has created them. Different, but they don't care. They don't waste time worrying about what the other students think, and we shouldn't either.

~ Appreciate the small things.
Our lives are too fast paced and we don't take enough time to find the beauty in the small things. So many times we think in order for something to be beautiful or good it must be something big or expensive or complicated. Sometimes a nice card or a smile can make someone's day.

~ Don't live for material possessions.
They won't love you back. They only make you temporary happy, that's why you have to keep shopping, keep buying. There is nothing wrong with buying things, nothing wrong with shopping. But when that becomes your focus in life, when that is where you go to make yourself happy, then it is a problem.

~ Dream big.
This is something my pastor has instilled in me. I love to think about future goals and dreams for myself. Dream about what it will be like when I do accomplish them.

~ Reflect often.
In order to have a purposeful life, in order to grow, we must reflect. Think about our lives, our actions and question. Question about how we could improve, think about where we are going. Otherwise we are aimlessly going through life.

~ Focus on Eternity.
So many times we get upset about things that don't really matter. We should remember this life is temporary, we won't be here forever, and focus more on the bigger picture. Take perspective, 15 years from now will it matter if that car just cut you off?

So there you have it. How I try to live a beautiful life. If you want to see more click here. You can also make your own list and link up. I would love to read yours!


Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

I can't even think of which one is my favorite!! They are all so applicable!

Courtney K. said...

Jenny this is SUCH A great list! So, so many of these I have on my own list and some that I forgot to add. I'm so excited that you decide to join in with me! Feel free to update and re-link anytime you want! I'll be doing more Live Beautiful Challenges over time, so I definitely hope to see you again! :)