June 01, 2015

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Oftentimes at highschool and college graduations, and then again sometimes at weddings, you will hear the phrase "This is the first day of the rest of your life."  While this paints and interesting picture in the mind of those who hear it, I believe it points out the fact that we've lost sight of the real lives we live on a daily basis.

I've recently noticed the rush to grow up, the rush to graduate highschool, the rush to graduate college, the rush to get married, the rush to have kids, the rush to have a 25th wedding anniversary, the rush to have daughter/son in laws, the rush to have grand kids, the rush to have great grand kids... and then what?  By the time you get there, your entire life is gone.  It's been spent constantly racing toward the next big thing.

As a homeschool graduate and a staunch Christ follower, I have be raised to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.  From the very beginning, I learned thing to do things now that will improve my future life.  I learned to cook so I can one day cook for my family, I learned to sew so I can make clothes for my kids, I took Advanced Mathematics so that I can teach my own children up through highschool (and beyond, if needed), I even run the house and "babysit" my siblings for weeks on end to afford me practice for what my future may hold.
I highly recommend traveling...

However, I would venture to say this mindset of preparing for a currently-nonexistent future, has severely damaged my outlook on life.

My eighteenth birthday came and went, but there isn't a reasonable marriage prospect in sight.  (In reality, it takes the guys longer to "get ready" for marriage than it does the women, but that doesn't change the fact that my life is currently prospect-less.)  Pretty much, I've just been waiting... waiting for my knight in shining armor, waiting for my life to start, waiting for a chance to use all these skills I've learned.  But should I be waiting?  And more importantly, should I be rushing toward my future?

... and cliff jumping!
In reality, today is the future of your yesterday.  And tomorrow is the future of today.  Future doesn't have to mean five, twenty, or fifty years.  But how many of us wake up in the morning and think, "Yes!  This is my future.  This is what I've been striving for my whole life!"?  You may if you've suddenly woken up to the sun rising over your college graduation or your wedding day.  However, how many of us do that on a daily basis?

To all the single girls out there, you are precious for who you are and what you do on a daily basis - not because of the wife and mother you will one day be, not because in a year you will be a published author, not because you have graduated with honors and plan to achieve great success in your homeschooling... you are an integral part of God's plan right now.  You are the key piece to your neighborhood, school, choir, and family.  You don't need a man to make you worthy of life, you don't need a family to make you important in God's grand plan, you don't need children in order to be a success in your Christian community.

This is your life.  Here.  Now.  Today.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.  This is [hopefully] the only time in your life you will be single.  Do you embrace your singleness as fully as you should?  This is the only time in your life when you can earn anything and everything you want without fear of failing your overwhelming familial duties at home.  Are you taking this opportunity to experience life?  This is the only time in your life when you can serve God with your abundant time.  Do you clear your schedule to make way for His work?  And most of all, are you living life fully, without a doubt experiencing, living, loving, and learning everything you possibly can?  You will never ever get this day back, you will never ever get this phase of your life back.  Don't waste it waiting for your future.  You are living your future right now. 

I strive to embrace my life, one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time.  I encourage you to do the same, because if you don't... it will pass before you know it.


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