Thursday, June 21, 2012

One Day At A Time

"Yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow
A vision of hope.
Look well, therefore,
To this day." 
- Sanskrit Proverb

I used to wear a bracelet that said on it, "One Day At A Time." It was given to me by my very best friend in the whole world at a very difficult time in my life. It helped me through that time as it reminded me constantly that it was ok to just take one day at a time. I could not focus on how I would do anything tomorrow let alone next week or next month. When it was given to me I was told by my friend that I could wear it and use it for as long as I needed it and then I was to give it away. I was told to find somebody who was having a rough time who would need the constant reminder to just take it "one day at a time." It took me a long time before I was ready to give it away. I knew though, that once I gave it away I could always get another one from my friend if I needed it. I have given several bracelets away. One went to a lady on an airplane who's father was dying of brain cancer. One went to the mother who's grown child was fighting a battle with leukemia. One went to a dear friend who lost her child. I have also needed additional bracelets on several occasions! It is a cycle of giving and receiving. It is much like the cycles of life. There are cycles when we get to give, and cycles when we must receive. Both are necessary along our spiritual path of growth.

It has been several years since I received that first bracelet. I currently do not have one. I gave mine away about a year ago and I'm grateful that I have not felt the need to have a new one. I was thinking, just today, how grateful I am that I am not living in a crisis-mode right now. I learned to cope very well; I learned to live that way for quite some time and I'm grateful that I don't have to do that now. It's hard to live, worrying and wondering how everything is going to work out and yet not having the strength to even look beyond each moment to plan anything. Although it was a difficult time, it was also a time of growth. I learned to just have faith in my Heavenly Father and to trust Him in ways I never thought I'd need to. To trust that things were in His hands and that somehow everything would just work out fine. These were not an easy lessons to learn. I am, however, so very grateful to have been taught them. I was asked to climb a mountain that I did not even think should've been there. And at the top, I found that the pain, the heartache, the anguish and all that I went through was really all for my good! 

If you are now living in crisis-mode, my best advice is just hang in there and take "one day at a time." Trust that this is God's plan. Trust that He is in charge. Trust that everything will work out just fine. The climb is hard. Some days climbing is not even an option. I know! Your strength alone is not sufficient. Turn to the Lord. Submit to His will. HIS strength IS sufficient! Not every day can be the best day ever but every day can give you lessons to learn and growth can take place. Every day can bring us closer to who we are supposed to be. Every day can be evidence to us that God loves us. 

I feel like, for right now, I get to live ~ rather than in crisis-mode ~ in enjoyment-mode! It's not to say that everything in my life right now is perfect. But I am not where I was several years ago in crisis-mode. And it's not to say that I don't think I'll ever be in crisis-mode again! But I have learned that there is reprieve, there is downtime, there are tender mercies given.

I found myself thinking how wonderful it is to be in enjoyment-mode and to not have to live one day a time. And then I realized that I should still live one day at a time! I should enjoy every moment as it comes. I should relish in the happiness that my children bring to me at every stage of their life. Each day brings wonderful, wonderful things and if I'm not paying attention and I'm thinking about what tomorrow or next week or next month will bring, I can very easily lose the joy that today holds for me. 

It seems that we either spend our days worrying about how things are going to work out or wishing and waiting for things to be better or looking forward to the exciting things that are going to be happening or planning to do something wonderful and on and on and on. And all the while we're missing out on today. Right now. 

Today, right now, is all we really have. And enjoying the moment, right now, can be life-changing! I'm not saying don't plan, don't set goals, don't have an idea of what's going to happen. . . But don't lose sight of what today can bring for you and the many joys and the great happiness that's right here, right now!

Our life has many seasons and they will come and they will go, but in every season ~ whether in crisis-mode or enjoyment-mode ~ always look for the hand of God in your life. He is there ~ every step of the way.