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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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The Joy of Missing Out

“Each moment is all we need, not more”. -Mother Teresa

The evening was warm and humid for a late September.

With a sliver of moon rising above me and the remnants of sunset fading into twilight, I was sitting on the balcony, arms wrapped around my knees. A flock of birds chased each other across my view, just barely missing the rooftops.

And I kept glancing down at Instagram. I had to literally force myself to push the phone away, if only for a few minutes, to take in the moment in front of me.

As a health coach, I’m constantly encouraging others to step away from the screen, focus on breathing, take a few minutes every day to meditate and remember to be mindful — even if that means simply taking time to savor the food you’re eating, looking up from the phone for a second to smile at a stranger, or even purposefully leave your device at home when you go out with a friend and give them your total focus.

And yet, here I was, fighting the urge to scroll mindlessly instead of focus mindfully. I was disappointed in myself that I couldn’t take 15 minutes without being concerned about someone else’s life.

So this week, I’ve made a decision; I’m focusing on me.

I’m choosing the things that make me happiest. To feed my soul the best way I know how. And to reconnect with God. Keeping myself accountable by writing these goals out so others will know them and hold me to them.

Autumn is an interesting season. It’s as if the whole world around us begins to turn off, shut down, and rest. As winter approaches, the icy cold and the blanket of white snow, a sort of “death” happens. And it’s easier to hibernate and waste a lot of time doing nothing than to push ourselves to work on mindfulness and reflection.

But what better time?

I want to experience the JOY of missing out. Of creating my home to be a safe space for comfort and warmth. Of focusing on my own goals and dreams instead of pining after anyone else’s Pinterest-perfect living room or Instagram-worthy career.

This season, I’m giving myself to healing, mindfulness, and reflection.

And I can’t wait to see the changes that will bring. Will you join me?

 

Hummingbirds And Eagles

A new year always looks so bright and full of hopeful expectation in the beginning. We plot and plan the next blank 365 days, write our resolutions and lists in big, bold letters across crisp pages, setting goals like “drink more water” and “save for travel”.

January can feel like a hummingbird month. Constantly flapping our wings and buzzing from one source of nourishment to the next; so focused on doing. Gyms are full to capacity. Every email blast, diet program, website update, blog post, Pinterest suggested pins, Instagram motivation, and sermon for the next few weeks will be about how to be a better YOU this year. And if you aren’t following these “5 Steps to Your Most Successful Year EVER”, then you’re falling behind. Hummingbird, © Matthew B. Propert

But God doesn’t call us to be hummingbirds.

He calls us to be eagles.

I had a conversation recently with someone in full-time ministry who lamented about the stress of January. And it really made me pause. If working for God causes stress and anxiety, if our path to a more confident and peaceful self is riddled with fear and striving, and if we are so focused on keeping up with the Joneses that we forget Who our lives belong to…then we are missing the entire point.

Eagles remain steady. They don’t work spazzily like the hummingbird- darting here and there, a million miles per hour. They spread their wings and trust the wind stream. They are confident in their purpose. They don’t strive. They soar.

So my challenge to you (and to myself!) is this: let’s spend 2017 living more like eagles than hummingbirds. Let’s refuse to give in to the unattainable standards of the “best year ever”, and instead trust that we can spread our wings and allow God to carry us through the inevitable ups and downs that come with life.

Look forward in hope and expectation. But slow down and give yourself breathing room to stretch and grow. Grant yourself some grace when things aren’t picture-perfect. And let God take you places you haven’t even dreamed of yet.

The best is yet to come. 

 

 

 

The Reverse Psychology of True Happiness

“What we all want in this life; to travel, fall in love, and be happy.” (Pinterest)

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” – Psalm 34:8-10

Happiness. It is the ultimate human goal; we strive, we stress, we struggle for it. The very thing that we think will bring us internal peace is the reason why we are unhappy. There is always something bigger, better, seemingly more fulfilling. Money, appearance, status, relationships, security…it’s a never-ending grocery list of “if only THIS…then I would be happy!”

But lately, I’ve been thinking about what happiness really is, and how TRUE happiness isn’t based on constantly shifting circumstances, but on obedience and seeking God. Despite everything I have been through in my short life on this earth, every season brings another opportunity to choose God’s best, or to fight for my own version of happiness. It’s funny actually. Just when I think I’ve got this faith thing figured out, I’m thrown another curveball and swinging hard, praying I’ll come in contact and hit a home-run.

Happiness; even in the storm? Even when my heart is breaking? Even if I don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet? Even if I’m lonely, or exhausted, or afraid of all the “what ifs”? Even if I don’t have any control?

Yes. Exactly.

If you’ve been walking with Christ for a while, then you know that there isn’t a day that goes by 2439_wes_-_79when you aren’t faced with decisions about choosing to obey or choosing to follow your own will. There are no “5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Life” in following Jesus. It’s messy. It’s broken. It’s beautiful. And the way that God strengthens us in our faith through all the moments that we turn away from our will, our wants, our desires, and give Him complete authority and control, continually reminds us that we are not alone. We have a power within us that is beyond what “happiness” means to this finite, physical world.

The writer of Hebrews put it this way: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (12:28-29) Thankfulness in ALL circumstances because we realize that this is not our home. This world is temporary. TRUE happiness can only be found in Him. We fill ourselves with so many distractions, when the answer to fulfillment is Jesus. To follow hard after Him, no matter the cost. And to see the promised blessings of obedience. To see the goodness of the Lord.

When we finally surrender to His timing, His will, His perfect plan, perspective changes. Real peace untangles the anxiety and unrest in our hearts. And true happiness is found when we let go of what we think will make us happy, and embrace His plan for our lives.

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