“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
For the past year, I have had a little handwritten sign inside my teacup cabinet that reads, “What would I do if I only had one year to live?” I like to keep this thought in front of me each day as I grab my china teacup for my morning time with God, and then get ready for my day.
When I see this little sign, I ask myself some questions: How would I live my life today if I only had one year to live? Who or what would be most important to me? Would I choose to overlook offenses or give grace? Would I choose to love well?
I think about these questions a lot. To be honest, I can frequently wake up with negative thoughts about someone or something and it can steal my joy for the day right off the bat. Pondering these questions helps me to “check myself before I wreck myself,” and helps me get my day off to a more positive start.
Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts and becoming grouchy, anxious, or needy, I pray and practice 2 Corinthians 10:5b by “…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” I give that negative, toxic thought to Jesus and ask Him to help me think a true thought about the person or situation. This one habit has helped me to catch myself before those thoughts run their course for the day and affect my relationships with others. I can ask Jesus to help me to choose to live and love in the power of the Holy Spirit. This one little habit has increased my joy tremendously.
I don’t always do this perfectly, but I do keep trying. I figure if I can check myself 300 days out of the 365 each year, then I am doing a whole lot better than if I didn’t try to change my thoughts at all. I love how Dory the Fish says: “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” I keep trying to do better each day, and not give up even if I don’t always do it perfectly.
Another joy-increasing habit I have been doing for years is praying Psalm 90:12, asking Jesus to teach me to number my days so I can go about my day in His wisdom. When we live each day as if our days are numbered, we live with purpose and joy.
Sister, our lives are so short, and the Lord wants us to live them to the fullest with His Spirit leading the way. So how about you? Would you like to live each day with more joy? Try checking yourself first thing in the morning and also asking Jesus to teach you to number your days. These little habits can help you to savor your days and live each day as if you only had a short time on this earth.
Blessings and Love,
Pray and ask Jesus if there are any toxic thoughts going through your mind. If He brings something to mind, write it down. Then ask Him for a true thought about your situation and write that one down. It could be a Scripture or a simple prayer such as “Jesus, please protect me and my family.” Or, if you’re struggling in the area of finances, you could say, “Thank you, Jesus, that my God will meet all my needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Count your days! I once heard of a man who wanted to appreciate his life and decided to number his days. He counted up how many Sundays he had left if he lived to be 85 years old, and bought that number of marbles and put them in a jar. Each Sunday, he took out a marble to remind him that he had just lived one week of his life. He spoke at our church about how this habit changed him and helped him to appreciate his life more. I think it would affect our lives too!
I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Randy and I have been married for 28 years and we have two grown children, Christie, and Jack, and one answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex. And now I get to be a Gigi to my sweet little grandbaby, Aspen! Yay!