Does anyone else ever plan to wake up expectantly on the first day of the new month? I like to think of it as a mini new year every time that “1” comes around on the calendar.
I went to sleep on Jan. 30 planning to do just that – wake up expectantly and have a really great month with less stress and more progress toward goals, big and small. But, in true Kaitlin-fashion, I woke up a little late on Feb. 1 with all my lights on, my makeup from yesterday still on, and clothes piled up on my bed and my floor (they were clean at least – do I get credit for that)?
Once I had showered and actually woken up to reality, it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest as my to-do list started running, no, sprinting, through my head and piling up. I laughed out loud remembering all I had to do today from actual work for my job to the dozens of other errands to simple tasks like replying to emails, registering for events, placing orders for wedding decor, signing paperwork for a loan to own a house… I’m not telling you this list so you will pity me – I’m telling you so you will know you are not alone with your list, whether it’s full of small things or just one big thing.
Lists can overwhelm and the enemy can creep into that list if you let him OR you can invite God into the mundane (shout out to Christy Nockels and her “Glorious in the Mundane” podcast).
The funny thing about lists is that they grow without you adding to them sometimes. I had a lunch meeting at 12 that ended up moving itself to 12:45 since I spent an hour multitasking work with phone calls to the mortgage company and the credit card company because they couldn’t find the account I had opened – turns out they had all my information wrong, and it took me the majority of the day to get it worked out.
I could have gotten frustrated, and I did a few times, but I was determined that today’s busy day was not going to get the best of me like so many do. I was determined to focus on the glorious in the middle of the mundane and thank God for all the good instead of focusing on the chaos.
I noticed the attacks the enemy tried to fire on me – he sent me on a rabbit hole on social media to try to make me feel bad and even dug up things from months ago to try to make me feel bad, but I audibly said, “No, not today,” and he gave up.
He always does give up, and God never does. Remember that.
So, my day 1 of February was not ideal or perfect in any way. I didn’t wake up with fresh flowers in a vase (the flowers in my vase are dead), or make coffee or have my quiet time like I intended to, but God’s mercies are new every single day, which means that if he grants me another day on this earth, I’ll have another shot at starting fresh. If He doesn’t, that means I will be called home and REALLY get to start fresh.
Friends, if you are trying so hard to get your life “together” and things just keep seeming to get in your way of doing that, please don’t give up. Stop focusing on getting it “together” and aiming for perfect and just aim for present (another shout out – Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist – amazing read).
I heard a great message tonight and he said, “Maybe your 2017 didn’t start off like you’d planned.” I know mine didn’t. I made a short list of reachable resolutions and I honestly haven’t made much progress on any of them – but I have taken baby steps in some areas, and that does count for something. And whatever baby steps you are taking count, too.
We are not perfect – only God is, so we do not have to walk around pretending we have everything under control when we really don’t.
Our to-do lists don’t always have to be completed and the boxes don’t always have to be checked – if we live thinking they do, we will drive ourselves insane.
So, my February 1 was hectic and messy and busy and there are still clothes piled up on my bed, but I am breathing, I have amazing people to love, and I had the freedom to worship my Jesus with hundreds of other Christians at a church that feels like home tonight, so I’d say overall, it was a pretty great start to another month.. and maybe another chapter.
Keep your head up. We’ve got this. Together.