If you’re a product of the 80s, then my title resonated with you. In fact, you’re probably singing the song right now. You can thank me that you have that stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Just make the best of the situation. Get your boom box and your cassette tape, punch play and rewind numerous times, and be transported back to the day when the song was brand new. Well enough of taking a trip down memory lane. Back to the reason for this particular writing.

I don’t want to waste much time here, so I want to cut to the chase. Why do we have such a difficult time having fun? Why do we feel as if we must always be working? Why do we think taking no time for ourselves is the way that we’re supposed to live our life? Why do we feel guilty about being good to ourselves?

For some strange reason, we’ve gotten into unhealthy patterns in our lives. We live in a culture that rewards unhealthy lifestyles. We think it’s normal to work constantly. Putting ourselves last on the list is carried as a badge of honor. We wear ourselves down and are content to do life on empty. This isn’t the way that God wants us to live our lives. This is not the abundant life that He promised.

I must admit, I’ve struggled in the past with these very same issues. I’ve lived the majority of my life that way and thought that was normal. In fact, the busier I was with serving God, the more I thought I was doing for The Kingdom. I didn’t realize how much pressure and stress I was under until God removed me from those situations. It was painful at first, but now I see how He was at work to bring me to a place of peace. A place where there was less activity. A place of simplicity in the day-to-day. A place of true shalom. A place where I had to learn what it was to have fun once again. A place where I had to learn who Natalie was again because that girl got lost a long time ago. She was buried and hidden just waiting to be brought back to life again, and she did just that when God healed her and set her free. Now she is a changed and different person. She’s not the same woman she was 2 years ago. It’s been a beautiful journey of transformation for her. The caterpillar has turned into a butterfly.

I’ve had to learn that it’s healthy to enjoy life. God loves it when we have fun. He loves it when we build margin in our schedule to just sit still awhile. He loves it when we spend time with friends, family, and loved ones. He loves it when we’re good to ourselves and reward ourselves with a job well done. These are all investments that we’re making into ourselves.

So what are some of the things that I’ve discovered over the past 2 years that I enjoy simply because? Sitting at McDonalds with friends talking & sipping on a caramel or mocha frappe as we catch up on our lives. Eating at a Hibachi grill. Reading. Writing. Going back and playing classical music on the piano that I studied when I was younger. Having a manicure. Long drives with my favorite music cranked up. Trying new make-up and skin care. Buying a new outfit. Watching old tv shows, HGTV, & Hallmark Christmas movies. Naps. Dreaming about my future. Speaking. Leading worship. Making encouraging videos. Spending time with people. Sharing my story. Lip gloss. Bath & Body Works.

So I want to encourage you to sit down and do an inventory on your life. What things are working and which ones aren’t? Are you being good to you? Are you working all of the time? What are some ways that you can reward yourself? Be honest. Then put a plan in place to see to it that things change for you. We only get one shot at this life. Make the most of everyday.

Life. Precious. Priceless. Beautiful.

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