“It seems like everything in life goes in a big rush . . . you rush to graduate,
and then you rush to get married, and then you rush to get a house and have kids,
and then . . . it all settles down and you look around and go, “What do I do now?”

~ Nicole

We get to choose how we live. 

Let me back up a minute.

When I was a junior in college, I distinctly remember lying in my bed one night praying that I would never get too comfortable. I asked God not to let me become a mediocre Christian that just went through the motions, settling for weekly church attendance, 3.5 kids, a minivan, and a comfortable, easy life. I wanted to be moved. I wanted to hurt a little, be challenged, and get out of my own way. I was on fire and I didn’t want the burn to ever cease.

Fast forward 12 years and that comfortable Christian with the minivan who attend church weekly with three kids wore my face. I’d settled into comfort — and quite frankly — mediocrity.

By the time I had my third child, I had given up my ideals and my motivation for trying. I believed I would always fail, so why bother? I was tired, depressed, and wrote a book for mothers that was birthed out of that time in my life.

I had become a shell of what I once was — of the woman I wanted to be. But who was I? I needed to figure out a new normal. Me, in new mother skin, but who isn’t “just a mother.”

“As you grow older you become busier, and time went faster and faster, the months pushing each other rudely out of the way, and the years slipping off the calendar and into the past.” ~ Isobel {September, p.44}

One day I woke up and thought, “I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to live by accident, letting life’s waves roll over me, drowning me, causing me to choke for air. I want to enjoy my life and my children. I don’t want to look back on my life at the end of it and regret it.”

I decided right then and there to choose to live, to choose how I lived.

Because of that morning, and that choice, I spent two years wrestling with how to live a wide-awake life.

And through the searching and questioning and stretching, one of the things I learned was that by God’s kindness and grace, I could live by choice. I began to see that God gave us minds and hearts and guts and bodies to be able to choose how we want to live. For too many years I went along thinking that I had no choice, that I had to suck it up, get through, and make it heaven with hope and faith, gritting my teeth and bearing through it all. It was false.

While it’s true the Lord ultimately directs our steps, we have great freedom in choosing how to think and how to walk out our days. We have a vast buffet of choices at our fingertips, and as long as those fingers, those hands, are open to God, life can become a beautiful feast of delight.

It’s all such a gift.

What an honor to be able to glorify God by living in step with the heartbeat He instilled in every one of us; the heartbeat to live and move and choose; the heartbeat that we were made for more than mediocrity; the heartbeat that I am allowed to enjoy my life.

Friends, I am so thankful to finally be awake again. And it is a deep desire of mine to see you awake for your own life, choosing it, and believing that you really can lift out of the fog of robotic living and enjoy your life, fully, right where you are.

And this choosing, this wide-awake living, isn’t about having a perfect or pain-free life, it’s about knowing that life, your life, matters and has purpose and beauty, and it’s worth living. You see, if we walk around half-dead, just going through the motions, we’re not going to make it; we’re going to limp through.

But a fully alive woman, choosing her life, following God by faith, and delighting in who God made her to be and in the world around her, she can change the world.

She can call forth life in others.

She can be a part of bringing God’s Kingdom to bear on this earth.

She can help people go from light to dark.

She can be healed and seen and loved, and she will flourish.

How are you doing? Who are you?

What ache is in your soul and what do you need to release in order to live free and full and awake?

You can choose, you know. You can choose to live. But only you can make that choice, my friend.

Don’t let another day go by, letting the waves roll you over. It’s time to open your eyes, inhale, and live.

Keep on,
Sarah Mae
Need some help with how to do this? Check out my new book, Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure . . . Right Where She Is. 

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Sarah Mae,
    I think we all have seasons in our lives when we feel like we are just going through the motions…limping along. The common denominator, for me, when I look at those seasons in my life, is that my focus has shifted from God onto me. I’ve kind of been in a rut lately…eyes focused on chronic physical pain that I am enduring…eyes focused on my limitations and what I can’t do. It’s time to wake up and choose to refocus on God and what He can do THROUGH me (even in the state I’m in). Thanks for the wake up call this morning.
    ps. And as for feeling like you’re “just being a mother”…I believe in God’s eyes this is an extremely high calling…one that is revered in His perfect eyes :)

  • Emelda De Coteau

    Oh my, Sarah Mae! Thank you so much for this beautiful post!! It’s just what I needed this morning…

    I too am in a season. I left a full time job to care for our little one, work for myself

  • Emelda De Coteau

    and for me this has been a season of pushing myself (with the help of God) to live more fully, exploring new opportunities and taking on solo projects. You are so right, we can live wide awake, it’s all about choice and intention. Thank you for these encouraging words!!!

    I love this blog, too. It helps me through trying days…

    May God bless you all!
    – E

  • http://www.abellthatrings.blogspot.com/ Kate

    Yes, yes.

    In recent months – I have been prompted to think about these things. I’ve been pondering how I should not just allow life to happen to me – but to make, create, do, choose, and achieve things. Certainly, so much is out of our control – but making decisions that positively impact ourselves and the people around us… makes such a keen difference.

    We can choose to live fully wide awake. Amen.

    Thanks Sarah Mae.

    – Kate :)

  • Paige Estes

    Yes, but HOW do we do this? What are the steps? I’m too tried to be creative to figure this out. I’ve given up on a lot of dreams and where I thought I’d be. I love my life, but its definitely just moving on with me hanging on for dear life. I have everything I wanted, I just thought I’d BE someone different.

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Such a lovely post, Sarah Mae. Thank you. You offer a gentle wake-up call in your own experiencing of awakening to a richer, fuller life. I think that Paige, below, asks the million-dollar question: How do you do this? How do you live an awakened life? Is this part of the message of your new book, Longing for Paris?

  • http://www.susanmulder.com/ susanmulder

    This speaks soooo clearly and deeply to my heart! I have been in a period of waiting…waiting for direction, waiting for what comes next, waiting to hear where God wants me. I spent years achieving filled with ambition and (perceived) direction but basically moving frenetically in one place until God placed a calling on me. This led me to leave a position I had worked hard for but it was undeniable that I wasn’t where he wanted me. All my years of striving led to years of spiritual mediocrity and I had fallen into it without blinking. Gone were the hopeful longings of ministry, service and usefulness-and I hadn’t even realized it until it was too late. I am surprised I was even able to hear his calling when it came!

    It has been a year and a half now and I am faithfully waiting-and feeling closer to God than I have in years….

  • Deeb

    Thanks so much for the reminders, Sarah Mae…I was turing your “I can” list into a prayer and when I prayed this part, it went, “boing” inside of me…She can help people go from light to dark.

    Do you mean, “She can help people go from dark to light.” ?
    Again, thanks!.

  • http://tammy-h-meyer.com/words/ Tammy@Fear Not

    Love this part: “What an honor to be able to glorify God by living in step with the heartbeat He instilled in every one of us…” Thank you for such encouraging words today.

  • Susan

    “Live a wide-awake life.” Love – trying to do exactly that!

  • Beth Williams

    Sarah Mae,
    Being a mother is a super high calling. God wants you to be mothers and to love and nurture you little ones. No one is :just a mother”! For the last few years I was living a humdrum, going through the motions kind of life! I did the normal work, church, Bible study, but not much else! Now suddenly life has shifted. I quit my job to assist in the care of my aging dad. I find myself wanting more and more of God each day. I listen to numerous speakers on radio and TV as well as attend church. I’m praying more and being a little more on fire!
    Thanks and Blessings :)

  • Sandra Mays

    Life can become a beautiful feast of delight in our Jesus! I love that, way to start my Motivational Monday