The FYF family traveled to the Grand Canyon over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was the first time in twenty years that Matt and I did not spend Thanksgiving on the farm, and the trip taught me a lesson in intentionality and perspective. The dictionary defines the word “intentionality” as the fact of being deliberate or purposeful; and “perspective” as a particular attitude toward or a point of view.
The Grand Canyon left me awestruck. Hiking in and around the canyon provided a truly unique perspective as the landscape view adjusts with each step and change in light. After several days of “looking”, I decided that I never would see all of the intricacies of the Canyon. Honestly, perhaps that is its true beauty. Each different view or perspective inspired me to keep looking — to keep searching — so that I might better understand it.
I came home thinking, “Is that really any different from my faith journey?”
It is easy to fall into a routine in our daily lives, as routines bring comfort. But, challenging our own perspective allows us to grow and mature. While looking at the world simply through our own eyes is easy, seeking to understand it at a deeper level requires intentional study.
I wrote a blog post on the 5th year anniversary of this blog (almost two years ago) called, “Refilling The Cup”. In it, I talked about 5 things that I do in order to sustain as an advocate for agriculture. While this is a bit of recurring challenge, I find that staying true to these five practices helps me to keep going. Just as I struggle at times to refill my cup of agricultural advocacy, I also wrestle with refilling my cup in life.
In any given day, numerous people ask us to give time and energy to work on projects. Whether it is jobs, volunteer projects, or our families: the list of requests can get long and leave us feeling stressed and drained. While all of the things that we do hold meaning, they can quickly drain the cup if you have not developed a healthy culture that refills it and keeps you moving forward with a peaceful heart.
While a full cup leads to a true sense of joy as we reach out to help others and live with honor, a drained cup brings feelings of resentment and fatigue that create an unhealthy perspective. The healthy, peaceful heart slowly transforms to a sad one full of judgement. The body quickly follows with a bone deep tiredness that leaves us without inspiration.
For me, refilling the life cup stems from intentionally focusing on my faith. It involves valuing myself enough that I prioritize time to develop my soul. This not only allows for the cup to refill, but it actually allows it to grow so that ultimately I have more to give. I forgot this for a few years, but I have worked hard over the past 11 months to get it back.
Here is a short list of things that help me to create a healthy culture that refills my cup:
- Take time to recharge — everyday. For me that is a combination of prayer and exercise.
- Take time to commit to a perspective of hope — every hour. For me that is a periodic “gut check” to make sure that I value myself and believe that I bring meaning to the world.
- Take time to commit to a smile — every minute. For me that is remembering to count my blessings and express gratitude for the gifts in my life.
- Take time to commit to God — every second. His love and support inspires me to greatness.
Discipline and commitment to the above things allows me to retain my optimism and open my perspective. It is an intentional journey and one that never ends; but the road is lined with joy, hope, peace, and honor.