Rachel Jenae

My Reminder List

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Like I-can’t-catch-my-breath kind of whirlwind. Where days run into nights and nights run into mornings and eating is a chore. Ya, they’ve been those kind of weeks.

I returned from my brother’s wedding three weeks ago (which was a blast!) to find out the great news that I’d been given a promotion at work. It was completely unexpected and I was excited about the new challenge. I had two days before officially taking over my new position (while also keeping my current one).  It was “GO” time!

For all of those “adrenaline junkies” out there, more power to ya, but I’m more of an “achieving junkie”.  My mind goes into high gear when the pressure and demands of multi-tasking, strategically making things fit together well, competitively trying to conquer projects at a faster pace than I did the day before (competitive much?), and also getting quality time with people and giving time to being creative. That’s my addiction of choice. That’s when my endorphins kick in. It has taken me years to fully understand what a strength this is, but also to understand its weaknesses.

I was reminded while reading this weekend, the simplicity of grace. Grace and rest go hand-in-hand. Grace is unmerited (unearned) favor. Grace is God’s ability in my inability. And it was one line that smacked me in the face. The main thing that keeps us from receiving grace is our strength. There it was, no excuses. We grow up being taught to be strong, to meet the world head on and we’re rewarded when we reach these victories. Only problem, we only have as much victory as our own strength brings us. We learn to be self-dependent adults that rarely stop to think about how this hurts us. It’s just a little hard to receive God’s grace, or enter into His rest, when you’re always trying to achieve and “help” God out with His list. (preach to the choir much?)

There’s a passage in Joshua 24:13 that talks about all that God gave to the Israelites in the Promised Land that they did not earn (simply because they were His children, He loved them and His favor rested on them). And I can’t help but think that God often wants to do the same for you and I, simply because He loves us, but often times we’re too busy checking off our lists, trying to achieve something, feel good about ourselves and trying to earn what He’s freely giving, to be able to receive it.

13 I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’

God won’t force us to rest and He won’t force us to receive His grace. But what if this is the same measure of grace that He’s wanting to give you and I? What if amidst all of our accomplishing in life (with the best of intentions) we are too busy to enjoy the process of life with Him? To enjoy His lavish gifts that come freely and unearned.

So here is my reminder list. In times like the last three weeks, when pressures are high, time is limited and the achiever in me can get caught up in simply achieving, these are things I try to ask or remind myself about what I’m doing.

1) If you treat people poorly, but finish your list, you have still failed.

2) Not everything has to be done today.

3) Life is more about the process than the end result. Enjoy Today and all that God is doing.

4) Eat. You will think better afterwards.

5) Make the majority of your checklist about being intentional with people, rather than accomplishing “things”. Before long it will be a normal part of your day.

6) Remember to breathe, get up, stretch and drink water. You want to be in this for the long haul, not a brief sprint, so take care of your body, soul and mind.

7) Take time to listen to others. Ask about their lives and really hear their story.

8) Laugh more often and surround yourself with genuine people.

9) Focus on the good and practice gratefulness. Don’t focus on the negative, the heavy load, or the obstacles, but rather choose to believe the impossible and take every obstacle as an opportunity.

10) Embrace grace, let go and lean in.