Game On!!

It’s the day after Christmas and I am heading back to work today. Hugo just left for a one-day trip and I have just finished my coffee and my morning readings. I’ve talked to God a little about yesterday and prayed for those I love. Typical morning, in a way.

I have been thinking this morning about Christmas. All of the build-up, present-buying, self-induced stress crazy-time that we put upon ourselves is over in an instant...but the only part that really mattered yesterday was the time spent with those that I love. The smiles. The stories and the laughter.

It made me grateful for my relationship with God and how Jesus's birth was the ultimate gift. The only true gift that didn’t cost us a darn thing. But...its immeasurably priceless. (If I can be so bold to put those 2 words together!)

It made me think about how grateful I am for the life that I have and that my wish that I pray most often is for me to be a light in this world.

Sometimes I wonder how I got here...to this life that I have. I never pictured it could or could be this way. Growing up, my life - like most others - was filled with many tribulations. I had a lot of health issues (cancer, multiple surgeries, blot clots, and a lot of throat and pulmonary issues). Abuse. Bad decisions.

One of the things that I used to say was that God was getting all of the bad shit done in my life first and early so that I could enjoy my 40’s and beyond with no more bad things happening to me. I still think that now! It is like the first 36 years were my “warm up” years...putting it in sports terms. It was my time to practice...to get ready. To prepare.

Now, it is “batter up” time. Time to hit those home runs. Time to make assists for others. I feel like I am in the game and I am ready for it.

And that is really what life is right? We have our warm-ups...and then it is "game on”! Your warm-up period is your trials and tribulations. We learn. We grow. We mess up. We fail. We get knocked down. We get back up. It is just all part of it though. We are learning. Growing. Getting better.

Then, we come to a period in our lives where it is, “game on”. We are prepared though. We’ve been practicing. By now we know that during those warm ups...the ups and downs...God was with us the whole time. Seeds were planted. Roots are deep. We appreciate. We are gracious. We give it our all. We play the game of our lives.

There are some people who get stuck and consumed in the “warm up” phases of their lives. Who give up and become resentful versus pushing hard to overcome when things get difficult or uncomfortable.
They throw in the hat and just give up, not knowing that one day, there will be something amazing that comes out of this difficult time. A better you. A stronger you. A you that is a good example to others. A you who can help others.

It's during those tough times, you have to make a decision: Do I quit here or do I recognize that this pain is temporary?

It is easy to blame the world or even God for the bad things that happen to you. It is easy not to forgive someone who hurt you deeply. It is easy to have a pity party for yourself and blame everything for your failure. It is easy to sit on the bench and watch everyone else around you play.

What I have realized though through my relationship with God and through my experiences in life is this: Shit is going to happen to me. I can choose to quit and give up or I can choose to show up. I choose to show up. Face my giants. Kick their asses. Overcome. Forgive. Pray. Believe that good will always come out of the bad, even when I cannot see it.

So here’s to today...may this be a day to put on that helmet, the armor, the shield...and prepare yourself the game.

Jen



Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.




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