Sunshine and rain

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Have you ever woke up in the morning, looked out the window to see storm clouds and rain, and then snuggled right back in under the blankets? Yeah, me too. The weather can have a huge effect on our mood. Warm, sunny weather can inspire us to take long strolls and sit outside in the sun. When we hear the wind blowing and see snow falling, we may decide to do nothing but drink coffee.

But, letting the weather decide how we spend our days could be indicative of a skewed mindset. In Scripture, we are taught to approach each day with a certain level of urgency. We are not promised tomorrow, and are therefore expected to make the most of today. That doesn’t mean we should run around like chickens with our heads cut off. Lots of activity doesn’t equal productivity. Rather, we should be purposeful with our days, living with intention and choosing to do what is important, regardless of how we feel or how the weather looks outside.

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

Before we look at some practical ideas for making the most of each day, let’s look at some verses about time.

Scriptures about time

Happy is the one who has not walked in the advice of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night. He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, producing its fruit during its season. Its leaf never droops- but in all he does, he succeeds.

Psalm 1:1-3 TLV

This is the day that Adonai has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Psalm 118:24 TLV

For He says, “At a favorable time I listened to you, in a day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2 TLV

Embrace today, no matter the weather

I recently decided to make an effort to go outside every day, regardless of the weather. I stumbled upon this idea in an article about nature study. The idea was to take your kids outside, even when the weather was crummy, so they wouldn’t develop the habit of living life from one sunny day to the next. This really struck a chord with me. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as much as we would like it to be. Life has ups and downs, seasons of light, and seasons of dark. If we allow ourselves to ride the waves with the weather, and only truly live when the sun is shining, we are seriously crippling ourselves.

Yah never promised that our lives would be without trouble. He did promise that He would never leave us. We know we are growing spiritually when we can pick ourselves up on the hard days, and still choose to live life. It is not easy to choose to get up in the morning and be the best mom you can be, or the best wife you can be, when you are struggling with big problems, anymore than it is to go check the mail half a mile away on a cold, windy day. But, that is what we are asked to do. We are asked to embrace today, and live it to the best of our abilities, knowing that Yah never leaves us to face life alone.

How do we choose to embrace each day, even when things get hard?

We start and end and fill our days with prayer.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm.

Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. Strap up your feet in readiness with the Good News of shalom. Above all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Ruach on every occasion, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep alert with perseverance and supplication for all the kedoshim.

Ephesians 6:10-18 TLV

Lose the worry, replace it with gratitude

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Yeshua was not kidding when He taught that worry can’t add an hour to your life.

So I say to you, do not worry about your life- what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Now if in this way God clothes the grass- which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow- will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the pagans eagerly pursue all these things; yet your Father in heaven knows that you need all these. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34 TLV

Worry seems important because perhaps we subconsciously think that the level and passion of our worry matches the level and passion of our care. Thing is, worry accomplishes nothing but wearing us out. It offers no solutions. It steals our joy. It renders us incapable of moving forward.

In the passage above, we are specifically taught not to worry, but rather to trust that our Father has us covered. He promised to care for us and provide for our needs. It’s our job to trust Him to keep His promises.

Look for solutions to implement today

Part of the problem with worrying is the fact that it accomplishes nothing but gruesomely describing everything that could possibly go wrong. In order to live today with purpose, you need to get to a place where you can look for solutions.

When my children come to me upset, I hear them out, then I encourage them to move to problem-solving mode. I may say things like:

  • What can you do to fix that?
  • How can you help your brother to feel better?
  • What should you do next?

I often give myself the same pep talks when I feel overwhelmed. When your house or finances or kids are getting the better of you, take a moment to breathe and begin looking objectively for solutions.

  • If your house is messy, start clearing the counter in the kitchen, so you will be able to fix a meal.
  • If your finances are scaring you, get the numbers down on paper so you have a realistic view of your situation. Be sure to click on finances in the top menu for more financial help.
  • If your children are driving you crazy, pray first, then have an honest discussion with them to see what can be done.
  • If your to-do list is freakishly long, start with a job that takes less than 5 minutes to help you build momentum.

The key is to stop wallowing and start doing the next thing in front of you.

Each day brings its own set of challenges, and we weren’t promised sunshine every day. But, we can still choose to live purposefully with each day we are given. Turn your worry into gratitude. Look for solutions. Start and end each day with prayer. Know that YHVH is with us every step of the way, even when the storm clouds roll in, and we’d rather stay in bed.

Want to live your life with more purpose each day? Try the Torah Family Living planner, which includes Scripture, Shabbat, feast days, and an open format to meet your needs
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