Paradise: palm trees, white sand, and drinking from a coconut in the sun.
It sounds blissful because paradise is a place of rest, relaxation, and escape from the world’s demands to do more, be more, and look more.
Most of us can agree that our society is addicted to endless hurrying, busyness, and that it always takes and rarely gives. But I want a place of rest; I want paradise. I want to know how to truly escape to a paradise that will replenish me daily, even in the rush.
I am learning a lot about the rush of life; I am learning that if I am not careful, it will overtake me.
Oh, how easy it is for the hurry to pull me into its strong current. However, I am also learning how to enjoy the fine print of my days rather than hurrying past people and priorities. I am learning to enjoy the mundane. Paradise is not a mundane place; it is blissful and restorative. Sometimes a place this restful feels out of my reach, but I can assure you that a thankful heart is the key to making “mundane” feel like the rest, joy, and beauty of paradise.
Thankfulness allows us to slow down and live life in color.
It can be so empty to always give in to the rush, always say yes to favors, and never create time to rest. Isn’t it funny how it feels comfortable to give in to busy rushing? It doesn’t leave us at our best, but it is often easier to over-commit than to prioritize. We would rather give into a worry-based life than see what peace feels like on the other side of the rush. I want to get to this paradise; I don’t want to always hurry or always worry. It will take one more sacrifice: my control.
I know how it is. There is a list of things I need to get done, there’s a coffee date with a girlfriend I’ve tried (and failed) to plan for the past three months, errands to run, and all while the laundry piles high. But I often think "If I could give one more thing, I would have peace. If I could give this one more thing, I wouldn’t leave feeling empty anymore."
Instead, I choose to give thanks.
Like all good habits, this takes practice. And let me assure you that running straight to thankful thoughts when life is handing you hard days is not a normal first reaction. However, it is beneficial. In the midst of hard days, the best thing you can do for your heart and mind is to search deep to notice the hidden details that make life sweet. This is our paradise. To never miss the details that we so often take for granted. I know this is going to be so unique and special to your own life, so this is a challenge for you and I to slow our moments to see beyond the chaos. There is rest here.
This paradise comes from a thankful heart that creates an attentive mind. We are not used to slowing down and saying no to unnecessary fillers because it might offend people or we might not be as perfect to complete every single task as we thought. But living with a thankful heart will allow us to live in contentment, and give us the grace to be imperfect humans. It is a life of contentment and grace that allows us to recognize the lovely things of life. This creates peace in the chaos.
Let us be women who live full lives in this paradise of restoration, grace, joy, and contentment.
It’s quite daring and courageous, but I know we are capable of this kind of living: the free and abundant life.