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Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

How to Live a Satisfied Life - Encouragement for Today - August 18, 2015

Sarah Mae

AUGUST 18, 2015

How to Live a Satisfied Life
SARAH MAE

"Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life." Genesis 25:8a (NASB)

I was lying in bed one morning, my sweet daughter Caroline tucked in close, as I rubbed her head.

She had come down a few minutes earlier to snuggle. It was early, 5:30 a.m., but the sun shone through my bedroom window, gently easing me awake.

As I stroked her soft hair, I kept thinking about how much I love her and how she is growing up so fast. Six years old now.

Four years ago I wrote about how exhausting it is to tend to little ones, especially at bedtime when you’re spent and just need a break. But how yet, even in the crazy hardness of it all, God made it so that our little ones would need us. Close, and soothing and available. I find that those words are just as true today. She still needs me, pulled in close, surrounding her with comfort and love.

And so I do this. I let her get into bed with me in the early-morning hours because I don’t want to miss it — this precious time, this cuddly, sleepy, warm, tender time. I know it is only for a season, and one day, it will be gone. But I have the here and now; I have today to take it in and enjoy.

And this is how I want to live, taking in these moments so that I can look back on my life and not regret that I missed them.

Every day I get the opportunity to start new. Every day I can begin again. Maybe I missed it yesterday. Maybe I got too busy or I got sucked into Facebook, or I just didn’t want to play with my kids. Those are the moments that keep me up at night. Those are the moments I need God’s grace to cover me so I can start over. I need His help every day.

This loving, this mothering, this living that I’m doing requires sacrifice and work, and I need daily reminders of this truth, or I will let the days carry me off, one rolling into another. I don’t want to regret my days because I don’t want to regret my life.

Here’s the thing about regret: We can’t escape it because we can’t escape sin.

We will have things and times and decisions we will regret over the course of our lives. The key to really living, to living unregrettably, is not to have no regrets, it’s to know and choose to begin again. It’s to be fully awake to our decisions. It’s to choose the direction of our lives the best that we can, with who we are and where we are. It’s to trust God, walking forward in faith, knowing that He delights in us as we delight in Him and the good things He gives us.

We can live in such a way that at the end, we can die satisfied with how we lived.

Satisfied. Not perfect.

Abraham died satisfied with his life, but we know that he sinned and made poor decisions in his life. He didn’t live perfectly, but He followed God by faith, and he lived a well-spent life. He diedsatisfied.

When we sin or fail or botch up something again, we can decide to move forward, learning from it, and beginning again and again and again. This is how we keep on.

This is how we live a satisfied life.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t leave me in my mess. Thank You that Your mercies are new every day, and that I can begin again. Help me to never forget Your grace, and please help me to live a life that is well-spent. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, "I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor — it is the gift of God." (NASB)

John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (NASB)

RELATED RESOURCES:
If you’ve ever felt like the waves of life keep rolling over you and you can’t seem to get a hold of them, Sarah Mae gets it. Check out Sarah’s new book, Longing for Paris: One Woman’s Search for Joy, Beauty, and Adventure — Right Where She Is, where she talks more about how live a satisfied, meaningful, beautiful life.

For more on living a satisfied life, visit Sarah Mae’s blog or LongingForParis.com.

Enter to WIN a copy of Longing for Paris. In celebration of this book, Sarah’s publisher is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here, letting us know why you’d like a copy for yourself OR whom you would give the book to, if you won. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, August 24.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Picture yourself near the end of your life, sitting in a rocking chair on your porch, reflecting over your years. What do you wish you had done more of? What do you want to change?

Ask God to help you become fully awake to your daily decisions. They add up to a lifetime.

© 2015 by Sarah Mae. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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