Are You Available to God?
One of my toxic traits is that I often overextend myself. Everything always just sounds so FUN! I have long been notorious for “stacking” events; i.e., a happy hour followed by a dinner followed by a birthday party, etc. The reality of living this way, however, became far less fun than I thought it would be.
For one, I was constantly checking my watch and phone to ensure I was leaving/arriving at the right places at the right times. I would get anxious when someone would text and ask “Where are you?!” I was rarely present or able to fully enjoy the gift that spending quality time with good friends could truly be. And so instead of evenings spent with people I love, I was frantic and hectic and exhausted.
So for the past year, I’ve tried really hard to avoid this. If something comes up on an evening or at a time when I already have plans, I promptly and kindly decline. No longer do I play the incredibly immature game of “Well, this could be fun if nothing better comes along…” It’s been a challenge of integrity, honesty, and character. And it’s borne beautiful fruit.
This past summer when I was in California, I faced a whole new challenge: there were no plans to be had. There was nowhere to be. I was completely, utterly available. For the first time in my adult life, I saw what God could and would do when I abandoned my time and my plans to Him. My life was slower, but it was abundant.
And I’ve been reflecting on all of this as we slowly approach the holidays. Already, the calendars are looking full and the well-known feeling of being overwhelmed is creeping in. But instead of surrendering to this torrent of busyness, I’m committing to a new kind of holiday season: a season of being available to God.
What does this look like?
- Daily prayer. St. Francis de Sales famously said, “Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer a day, except when we are busy – then we need an hour.” By building a strong daily foundation of prayer, I hope that I can receive the Lord’s wisdom and direction to be where He wants me to be and to do what He wants me to do.
- Protected nights off. My company calls this “PNO” and I’ve adopted it for my own life. The best part of the holidays is cozying up with a book by the (Netflix’s Fireplace for your Home) fire. I feel so much more joyful when I give myself evenings to just be, to reset, and to experience leisure.
- Be available. Each morning, I’ve been praying, “Lord, please show me who and what You’re entrusting me with today. Help me to be a good steward of Your creation. I give You permission to love me today, to use me, and to surprise me. Amen.” It’s like St. Therese who prayed, “I choose to be interrupted.” (I talk more about this in this week’s podcast, see links below!)
I would love to hear what your goals are through the end of the year! Mine are all around being present, being available, and experiencing the joy of the season! Shoot me an email and let me know 🙂
What we’re loving lately:
Ep. 91 | Are you available to God?
- As we prepare to embark on the beauty and busyness of the holiday season, I wanted to pause to reflect on our common belief that our time is our own. Every moment of our lives is a gift freely given by God who is wild about us and wants our good! Are you being a good steward of that time? In this episode, I share reflections from St. Therese, St. Francis de Sales, and C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, with the hope that we can all make a little more space to be available to God over these next busy months (and always!) Tune in here on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!
- I totally loved this interview between Chris Stefanik and Fr. Mike Schmitz, in which Fr. Mike spoke so beautifully about his life, his multiple #1 podcasts, and how he stays grounded and humble. I love him so much and this conversation was so good I listened to it all the way through, twice. You can watch on YouTube here!
Humiliation brings us closer to Jesus!
- I had two INCREDIBLY embarrassing moments this week… like I’m not sure when I’ll be over them because they still make me blush and cringe when I think of them. Anywho, I was chatting with a priest today who reminded me that our humiliations remind us of our pride and allow us to be closer to Jesus on the cross. That encouraged me, so if you ever get embarrassed I hope you see it as a step on the path to sanctity!
- Did you know that Spotify creates personalized playlists for morning, afternoon, and evening, based on what you typically listen to on those days and at those times?! 🤯 Well I just learned this and it’s been my obsession for the past few weeks. The algorithm also names the playlists for you… And they’re hysterical. Here are two of my recent favorites:
- A friend’s father who is undergoing bone marrow surgery on the 17th
- A friend who is due this week!
- For my parents, who are traveling in South America this week!
- For A, that they might exit an unhealthy situation, and for those who love them
- For peace in Ukraine and the Middle East
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.