15 February 2007

Nothing is worth more than this day.

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
~ Mother Teresa

This quote has deeply challenged me. The truth is, I've not been living lately as if "we have only today." I have been living each day as if there were a million more of 'todays' and a boundlessness of time. Translation: I've been lazy. Terribly lazy.

This laziness has permeated every part of my life...from what I'm literally feeding my body, to what kind of activity I'm engaging in, to how I'm stirring my mind and growing in knowledge, to whom I've allowed to pour into my life and in turn, in whom I am investing my time. I'm actually ashamed by how much I have not embraced today or my gifts. I have posed quietly upon my hilltop of laziness and let today pass me by, watching "just one more" mindless TV show that will not teach me anything, feed my spirit, make me laugh, or encourage me to live more intentionally.

Mother Teresa was a woman who sacrificed her entire life to love, in the most practical way, the most rejected of society, and although I don't agree with all of her theology, I know that she was not a woman who waited for things to happen. She even wrote a personal letter from all the way across the world to Bongo Java in Nashville to ask them to get quit making money off of the "Nun Bun"! She did not waste time with excuses or tiredness. She began. More importantly, Jesus did too. Jesus used the gifts He has been given by the Father, and He trusted solely in His Father to order His days. He only needed to do that to which He was called.

Part of this laziness comes from my lack of writing out my letters and prayers to God. My journals are my most prized possessions. I have an entire volume of them with my life since the first day of college documented therein. They help me pray and process and learn. I ran out of pages in my journal months ago and instead of continuing this prayer and processing, I just stopped. Ugh. A few weeks ago on a Saturday, I felt so dry and empty. I wonder why! It was time to make the first step and start journaling again. I went to a local bookstore and found this treasure:


Perfect. I took it home. And on the first page, I wrote this:


Turning over a new leaf....it's time. Time to begin. A friend of mine created a list of her "30 by 30" - 30 things to do by the time she turned 30 . Well since I'm turning 30 this November, I'd either have to do that at warp speed (not likely) or create a different kind of list :). So I decided on my "37 by 37". That brings me to 2015, which as many of you know, will be a very significant year for the Baileys....

I'm excited about 30. I've heard that in her 30's a woman really growns into who she is. One thing I'm not going to agree to do, though, is waste any of the days I have left in my 20's. So...in the spirit of new beginnings and living for today, here it is:

My "37 by 37"
  1. Fly First-Class.
  2. Take an art or photography class at a local community college.
  3. Learn Italian fluently and use it by visiting Italy again.
  4. Homeschool my kids when they're young.
  5. Redesign DreamMore.com & start selling stuff.
  6. Own a globe and be able to name all countries in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.
  7. Go to Africa and hold a child that has AIDS.
  8. Visit an orphanage.
  9. Grow a flower garden in my own yard.
  10. Visit the sites of the Bible in Israel.
  11. Visit Colorado and frolic in a field of wildflowers.
  12. Go to a small-town strawberry or blueberry festival.
  13. Find a cliff and jump off it into the water!
  14. Be able to do 25 man push-ups in a row.
  15. Learn to embrace fish & grapefruit.
  16. Learn to love my body, not obsess about it, and be healthy because I want to glorify God, not because I care what others think of me. Always a work-in-progress, but I've made some real strides.
  17. Go on a benefit walk.
  18. Own a Select-Comfort bed.
  19. Be able to do the yoga pendulum pose without my feet touching the floor.
  20. Visit Central & South America (Brazil and Costa Rica, please!).
  21. Have at least 2 regular friends from other countries.
  22. Learn to make cool stuff like pillows, hats, and clothes with a sewing machine and funky fabrics.
  23. Take my nieces on a girl trip.
  24. Visit Ellis Island and see my grandfather’s name on the log.
  25. Learn how to salsa dance.
  26. Wear a little black dress and go to the Rainbow Room in New York City with my husband to ballroom-dance the night away.
  27. Return to India to see my “family” there.
  28. Own a porch swing.
  29. Visit Seattle and Portland and drink lots of coffee in both places.
  30. Write a book. In progress as of January 2009!
  31. Be able to bend over standing up and touch my nose to my knees and hold it.
  32. Own a really big, cuddly dog.
  33. See Bon Jovi live in concert again, with Steven.
  34. Give birth naturally at a birthing center.
  35. Sleep on a beach overnight.
  36. Live in a solar-powered house and have a composting bin for my garden.


Well, that's 36 things at least. This list will probably change a bazillion times before I'm 37, and actually I hope it does! It shows growth. I will no longer sit back and let life happen to me. That means starting now on accomplishing these 37 things. It means getting up early in the morning to welcome the day, being intentional about my relationships and making time for people more than for the TV or my iBook, not letting my work or stress consume me, and stretching myself in ways I never thought possible....

"Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ." ~ Hebrews 3:12-14 (NLV)

I thought of one last item for the list:

37. Today: begin.


7 comments:

Jenni said...

Mother Teresa is one of my heroines.

I am journaling more, too, but my handwriting will NEVER look like yours or Kierstin's!

I love, love your list. Maybe I should work on my own seeing as I'm 32.

Stephanie said...

I can help you with #12!

http://www.strawberryfestival.com/

It's near San Antonio!

Anonymous said...

I've done this same thing! "Buy a home"...here I come!
Glad to have you in my world, you're always challenging me. :)
~Victoria

Suz said...

love this list, stine. and i love remembering about a year ago when we were driving back from florida on our spontaneous trip and making these lists. oh and i can tell you that owning a select comfort bed is wonderful....i heart my cloud bed. :-)

sharon said...

so challenging. reminded me i want to sign us up for the mocha club. can you email me again the link? thanks love!

robyn said...

i only wish my handwriting looked like that... its art in itself! i need to work on one too.. i'll be 30 in august.. but i'll have to do something like things to do by 35 or your 37. :)

i'm going ot do that this weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember how I came across your blog, but I love it!

I've been inspired by your 37 by 37... wondering if you have any updates on your progress?

-Lori