When Does Life Start?

I graduated high school from Chino Valley High School in June of 2009. Since then I have lived at home and I have gone to Yavapai College off and on and I have worked off and on as well.
I keep thinking about “One Day” when I’m living in a city/town that I want to live in, when I’m “working” where and how I want to work, when I’m surrounded by good friends… Oh, life is going to be so great.

Don’t get me wrong- I love love love my parents so much. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t still be living at home. But they enrich my life and I am grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with them. So when I’m off thinking about “One Day,” it’s not because I don’t want that “One Day” to be spent separated from them. It’s actually quite the opposite- I hope to be surrounded by my family.

But lately I’ve been thinking about all of this and I have become sick of thinking about “One Day.” What I’ve come to realize is that “One Day” will never exist unless I start now. One day is a nice thought- one that doesn’t involve sacrifice.

To be honest, I am a spoiled human. I live in a rich country, I’ve never had to deal with any REALLY difficult hardships, I’ve always had a roof over my head, I’ve always had food on the table. And so I think I’ve started expecting things to just go my way automatically. That’s how life works, isn’t it?
But when I start thinking about those things- the roof over my head, the food on the table- I can’t separate sacrifice from it. My parents have worked hard- harder than I’ve ever worked- and they have created a place to call home. They have put food on the table.
There have been times when my parents weren’t sure how all that was going to remain possible, but they did everything they could and God provided. We have had groceries delivered to our door with a receipt that rang up to $700- completely unexpected. We have had a vehicle given to us when we were in need of transportation- God has been so faithful, and I have taken that for granted.

What a little child I’ve been! Instead of realizing these things and learning that life functions through sacrifices, I’ve expected others to sacrifice for me! What a brat.

Lately I’ve had this crazy thought that maybe God has me in this certain neighborhood in Chino Valley for a reason. We know my neighbor Roy really well and he comes over all the time just to chat and eat dinner with us occasionally, but other than that, I know very few. I have met a few of them but haven’t done much to get to know them. But I’ve been thinking lately- why not? Maybe God has me here for a reason. Maybe I’m supposed to plant some seeds or do some watering for Him and I haven’t even made myself available to do that! So my idea is small and simple, but I’m excited about it. In our neighborhood we have a little mailbox area where we all go to get our mail each day. So I’ve decided I’m going to start leaving little gifts there for anyone in the neighborhood to take. My first project is going to be handmade seed packets with flower seeds in them. My dad LOVES flowers, so we have stashed away tons of flower seeds from flowers we’ve planted around the house the past few years. So I’m going to make up a bunch of seed packets and leave them there for the neighbors to take. The second project I’ve thought of so far is to make homemade doggy biscuits and package them up to leave at the mailbox for any fellow dog owners to take home to their furry friends.

I know these are big steps, but they are steps, and that’s what matters. Jesus didn’t come with bolts of lightning and crashes of thunder, but he did come with small acts done with great love. And that’s how I plan to go about this neighborhood project.

Also- if any of you have some ideas for me to leave by the mailboxes, I’d sure like to hear them! I am open to any and all ideas! I would actually really appreciate it.

So anyway, all of this to say that life starts now. Life starts when you want it to start. Life starts when you realize that “One Day” is not just going to come to you served on a silver platter. And life starts when you decide to live in the freedom that God has given you- freedom to live a magnificent life wherever God has placed you. Don’t be confined by the thought that you can’t change your neighborhood, your city, or your country for the better. Be free in the truth that God uses the weak, the insignificant, the small, the tired, the shy, and the uncertain. I, for one, definitely fall under several of those categories. I rejoice! For He must have great plans for me!

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