If you are having trouble finding joy and depth in your relationships–and even life itself–you are not alone.
Of course, no discussion of simple living would be complete without addressing relationships. Relationships matter. A lot.
I met with my friend Robbie for lunch this week, and the issue of relationships came up. He made an observation that captivated me. He said many of us go through life like skipping stones.
Do you remember skipping stones as a child? The pastime involves throwing a stone with a flattened surface across a lake or other body of water in such a way that it bounces off the surface of the water. Robbie describes it this way, “Many of us are skipping rocks in our relationship with God and one another.
We rush through life at such a pace that we hit the surface of interaction. . .and we bounce to the next person or the next big thing.” He points out that in the process, we miss the depth and richness of relationships. “If we slowed down long enough, we would sink to the depth of relationship that God has in mind.”
This past year, I have been intentional about going deeper in life and relationships. I am opening myself up to others in a new way, without pretense or apology. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. My friends know me and love me despite my self-centeredness, my half-baked ideas, and the way that I sometimes try to make myself out to be something that I am not.
They have taught me not only love but also grace, a kindness I don’t deserve. What I receive from them and others, I seek to freely give to all those who come across my path. The woman at the cash register who rung up my purchase wrong twice, while I was standing there in pain. Grace. The neighbor whose dog did his business in my front yard. Grace. The friend who showed up a half hour late for lunch. Grace. It all helps us with finding joy.
I am learning to look beyond the surface and into the hearts and lives of the people around me. It’s changing me. And I think it’s changing them, too. [pullquote]It’s changing me. And I think it’s changing them, too.[/pullquote]
My relationship with God has deepened, too. I have moved from religion and fabricated rules to deepening spirituality and real freedom. I worship not only in church but with the whole of my life and relationships.
Yes, my health is deteriorating.
What I did a year ago, I can no longer do.
But as I funnel my limited strength and energy through the filter of my life’s purpose and reach out with love and grace to others, I am learning that I can live with far less than I think. To live a significant, meaningful life, I need very little. And what I need is not found in achieving or acquiring more.
This past year as I have began to remove more and more clutter from my life, I found what I’ve been missing in the busyness of life. For the first time in years, my external world-my home, my relationships, how I spend my time-line up with my internal compass as I live out my life’s purpose and I am finding joy. Most days, I have a deep, abiding sense of peace and purpose.
How about you?
Share below! Do you have a deep, abiding sense of peace and purpose? If not, what one thing could you do to change this?
Did you miss a day of our 3-part series? Here are the links:
- The Simple Life: Intentional Living for the Chronically Ill – Part 1 of 3
- Removing the Clutter: Part 2 of 3 with Mary Yerkes
- Depth in Relationships and Life: Part 3 of 3 with Mary Yerkes
Mary Yerkes facilitates spiritual and personal transformation in the lives of believers through coaching, writing, speaking, and teaching. She is active helping the chronically ill, women in Christian leadership, the and new and aspiring writers find their purpose, live their passion, and experience abundant life through intimacy with Jesus Christ. To learn more about Mary and her ministry, visit www.newlifechristiancoaching.com and www.maryyerkes.com.