Today, I’m taking you back to the seed of BIG Life. I’m taking you back to June 2009. Hubby and I had taken a little break from our crazy busy lives and overwhelming business, and we were on vacation in Belize. I was reading the book ‘The Shack’ on the beach, and although it had nothing to do with the book I was reading, I began feeling the promptings of God to do something about the desire I had been wrestling with.
The desire seemed silly, and honestly it seemed too late. Instead of being driven by the desire, I was discouraged by the desire and filled with regret for not taking action earlier. I wanted to document the days of my life with a daily gratitude photo. Just one photo to remember each day’s special moment of deep and true gratitude. Like a gratitude journal with photos instead of words, because each photo is worth a thousand words.
But my kids weren’t toddlers anymore and I felt it was too late to begin with them already in Elementary. I had missed the opportunity to capture gratitude for the days already passed, but I hadn’t missed the days ahead. There was still time. I could begin living with greater intention. I could start that day.
So I did. I started that exact day. One moment of sheer gratitude, simply captured in a photo, and documented as a day of life given. And this was the seed for BIG Life. The beginning of a different way of living more grounded, centered, focused and intentional.
I haven’t missed a single day since then. 4,652 days captured in 4,652 photos of gratitude. This process changed me. It changed my perspective on ordinary days of life. It set my mind to seek out special moments and make them stand still so I could savor them longer.
I now understand fully what it means in Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
This has become sortof my life mission, to teach how to number our days. Why? So we may gain a heart of wisdom. So we can live each day like it truly matters, because actually it does. So we can remove the filters, and see the moments unfolding for what they really are … priceless and never, ever happening again.
Today is NEVER happening again for you. Ever. You are surrounded by once-in-a-lifetime moments. Yes, for real, they’re unfolding all around you. But are you too distracted to notice?
This month I’m mentoring 600 women. I just led them through a 1 week Mental Cleanse. A time of intentional disconnecting from the distractions so they could be fully present for what was most important to them. We started with a question. A question that set the stage for some powerful commitments to be made. Now I ask you that question:
ARE YOU CONTENT WITH LIFE PASSING AS IT HAS BEEN?
Dang, doesn’t life seem to be going so fast? Do you ever come to the end of a week, the end of a month, heck the end of a year and look back and wonder where it went? Do you sometimes struggle to remember how you spent those days and regret there isn’t more to show for the time you had? The days just all sortof lump together and become a monotonous mountain of repeated actions and chores with nothing spectacular that really stands out.
And so our entire lives pass. We go from one phase into the next. Kids grow up. We get older. Some things change and some things just stay the same. And our eyes are glazed over with this film of distracted boredom in our reality. Y’all, we can’t be content with that! We can’t be satisfied with unimpressive days of living when God made this all so miraculously impressive for us!
Let’s return to number our days. Set each one apart. Today is a stand-alone day. It isn’t yesterday any more and tomorrow may never come. You have today, THIS DAY. What number is it? It can’t be left out. It is crucial to recognize its importance and value.
Today, is my 16,961st day of this life. Every day before has brought me to this day. And every potential tomorrow will flow from this day. Knowing this, I can view this day as not just an ordinary Tuesday sandwiched between an ordinary Monday and Wednesday. No, this is day #16,961 dang it. That’s important! I’ve been waiting my whole life for this day!
Did you wake up knowing you’ve been waiting your whole life for this exact day? Oh, what if you did? What if you learned to number your days in the way Psalm 90 tells us to and start living with the knowledge of it’s value? You know what would probably happen … You would probably start living more intentionally. Your eyes would probably be opened a little wider to life unfolding all around you right now. And you would live in a way that would lead to more contentment.
Yes, remember that question: ARE YOU CONTENT WITH LIFE PASSING AS IT HAS BEEN?
This is our solution to the discontent we feel in the way life has been passing. Number our days to remember each one is important. Each one is valuable. Each one is a gift. Now, let’s waste none of the gift.
I’m still taking those daily gratitude photos on year #13. The kids are all grown and living their own lives spread out around the world. Most days the only other person I see is the same man I’ve been waking up with for over 27 years. Life can get kindof boring, if we let it. We can grow numb to another rising of the sun because it’s kinda like all the other times it’s faithfully come up right on time.
But imagine if the sun didn’t come up today. Imagine the pandemonium and sheer terror. Imagine if God didn’t faithfully cause that sun to peek over the horizon on perfect schedule. Time would stand still……….. But, that didn’t happen today. God made that sun come up and here we are with a perfectly normal, on schedule, ordinary day of life. So here’s an idea, how about we respond to God’s continued faithfulness to us by actually standing still. Time doesn’t have to just stand still because of a disaster. We can pause in an ordinary moment of life and stand still in our blessings of everything being ordinary. (And if so inclined, you can snap a quick photo of it to remember it for the rest of your life.)
From today forward, I will be documenting each day with it’s number because I want to remember how quick life is passing and live it more intentionally. James 4:14 “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
The New Living Translation says your life is like the morning fog. You know about that morning fog right? It just burns right off and then there’s no sight of it again. Your whole life is quickly passing. The average life is span is about 4,000 weeks. Dang a week goes by so fast, doesn’t it? And here are our weeks dwindling so quickly.
This life you’re living will not last forever. Make sure you’re content with the way it’s passing.
Today’s challenge is one I’ve issued many times over the years, and we’re doing it again. NUMBER THIS DAY. Go to the website daysold.com and plug in your birthdate. You will quickly discover exactly what number you’re on.
Let this day stand apart. Let it be lived with tremendous intention. Let it be savored with gratitude for all that it is. And let’s not wait for a disaster to make time stand still as it does in those moments like 9-11 watching the plane crash into the Trade Tower. Or that moment we remember in 1984 watching the space shuttle Discovery launch from a tv in our classroom, then the moment it exploded. These are moments where time stands still. They happen.
But today the sun came up right on schedule. God has been faithful to keep this world spinning, and since time didn’t have to stand still with a crisis, we choose to stand still in gratitude.
Fully here. Now. In the present. This is life. The only day like this you will ever get. Live your number well.