Fall View of the Front Porch

What are you letting dominate your life?

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I was catching up on some news yesterday and noticed that President Trump made the comment that we shouldn’t let COVID dominate our lives. And I started thinking about the word “dominate” and what I allow to dominate my life…

If you look up the word dominate, you’ll find that it means to “have a commanding influence on; exercise control over” or “(of something tall or high) have a commanding position over; overlook. And that begs the question what have l allowed to have an influence on me? What have I allowed to control me? The love, mercy, grace, and stability of God or something else?

I’ll be first to say that if 2020 was a test on love, grace, patience, and faith I’d fail. There’ve been many times over the last few months, days, hours that I’ve let my anger and frustration about the events in our world overwhelm me and I lash out. At times I’m quite literally placing blame on those who I “think” have wronged me.

But that’s not the attitude of Christ that we see portrayed in the Scriptures, is it?

As much as I cringe to admit it, I’ve chosen to let those things and those people to not only influence me but control me and ultimately DOMINATE my life and STEAL my joy! I spend my days sitting around in my jammies bemoaning all that’s different in my life and forgetting all the GOOD that has happened. And if I’m being honest, there’s been a LOT more good that’s happened in my life in 2020 compared to the bad!

Yes, for a while life is going to look a lot different than I had hoped or even imagined it would but just because it’s different and I don’t like it doesn’t give me permission to sit at home, sulk, and wait for it to be better. Nope! I’ve got to make the best of it. I’ve got to quit aimlessly scrolling and trying to figure out all the answers and just make the best of what I’ve been given and pray it gets better.

On Sunday, our minister’s sermon was about how what goes in must come out. When we’re squished by life what we’ve been absorbing comes out. He asked (and illustrated with some sponges) have we been absorbing the clean and pure water or dirty muddy water?

If you’re like me and have been a little shocked by what your life looks like lately and what you’ve allowed to dominate your life and you want to do something to change it, I’ve got a few ideas. Things I’m going to start doing…hopefully over time, we’ll notice that our attitudes about 2020 will change.

  • Get up and get ready for the day. I don’t care if you’re wearing sweats just get out of your pajamas and brush your teeth before noon. It makes a world of difference trust me…and that way, you’ll be ready for an adventure!
  • Fill your mind with good things. Listen to an audiobook or audio drama. Find a CD you haven’t listened to and put it on repeat.
  • Color. Find some free coloring pages online. Go to the dollar store and get a coloring book and some crayons (my favorite around Christmas. Or go to the hobby store and invest in some good colored pencils and an adult coloring book.
  • Get outside and enjoy some fresh air, soak up some sunshine, feel the breeze! Go hiking or walking on a local nature trail. Walk around your backyard or your neighborhood. Just get outside when the weather’s nice and be sure to look at all the Fall colors surrounding you! (:

These aren’t hard, are they? Yet when we let our somewhat unpleasant circumstances dominate our thinking and ultimately our lives we forget to embrace the simple things that bring a smile to our faces and make our days a little more pleasant. Let’s start doing what we know will change our attitudes.

Our circumstances may not change for a while, but our joy doesn’t (and shouldn’t) go into hiding until our circumstances are more to our liking. If Paul can sing in prison surely, we should be able to sing and be joyful now!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue