A few months ago I was in the car with my 21-year-old son, having one of our regular chats on the way back home from picking him up at work. The car seems to be the place where we have most of our talks. I don’t quite recall the nature of our conversation, but it had something to do with being an adult. Suddenly I found myself saying: “Adulthood, in a nutshell, is learning to deal with disappointments.”
At first, I started to retract what I just said, and then I stopped myself as I realized that what I said was completely true. I wasn’t being negative, that’s just how life works. As kids, our parents shield us from many things and provide for all our needs. We do what we’re told and for the most part, life is stable and predictable.
Then comes adulthood and the filters and protective buffers are removed as we feel the full brunt of a world that doesn’t care as much about us as our parents did. Work disappoints. Relationships are hard and filled with disappointments. We get our first paycheck and gasp at the amount of taxes taken out. Gas prices go up. We have to learn to say no to things we want in order to pay for the things we need. There are flat tires, boring sermons, lost mail, unexpected bills, long hold times with “customer service” reps, too few Snickers® bits in our Sonic Blast®, lost dogs, and grumpy neighbors.
In fact, everything in life can be disappointing because we’re not in as much control as we want. Being an adult means doing life with other people and each one of us has ideas of how that works. And if someone close to us makes a mistake – it impacts our lives as well.
The me-infused life vs. the God-infused life
Some people start off their adult life grabbing at everything they think will bring them pleasure and happiness. Yet, years and decades later, life is so…empty. They’ve tried avoiding disappointments through various means and realize their whole life feels disappointing. Dare I say that we’ve all had those moments? I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I had days when I was depressed and felt like my life was one huge mess. Somehow, in the midst of my best efforts, everything was still so…dull.
But that was the problem. I did everything with my best efforts. Even as one who has long believed in and loved God, and tried to obey, I still was trying so hard to get somewhere. I don’t know what or where. I was just reaching for something that would give me a beautiful and happy life – and that also pleased God.
Obviously, I was seriously falling short of some “mark” in my imagination. My hobbies, businesses, projects, groups, spiritual aspirations/efforts, goals, dreams left me so empty. They were all good things. Yet I was missing something. And that something was that I was “leaning on my own understanding” to create a life I thought would glorify God and bring me happiness.
God is so good. It’s been a long process, but He slowly started teaching me how to live a God-infused life. One that was filled with blessings without any burden. He’s been so patient as I go back to old habits and ways of thinking and then He reroutes me, again, to show me that the abundant, happy life is one in which He is part of every itty-bitty detail. He wants me to enjoy life. God wants me to have good relationships, a thriving business, a healthy body, mind, and soul.
The Birth Of Paola Lane
It’s this discovery of how to experience a God-infused life that conceived the idea for Paola Lane. It’s as if God took everything that I enjoy and my wide and varied interests and blended them into the concept for a lifestyle blog and magazine. This was God’s idea, not mine. My idea had multiple stand-alone projects that I tried so hard to get off the ground and they flopped miserably. Not only that, but whenever I tried to work on them, it was like pulling a concrete block across a muddy road.
Paola Lane is teaching me to live that God-infused life but it’s also a platform to share it.
I’ve proven that my efforts cost me time, money, relationships, emotions, and leave me with heaps of frustrations. So now I wake up in the morning and declare, “YES!” to the plans and purposes of God in my life. I invite God into my day, time, business, relationships, health, everything.
When I invite God into every aspect of my day, life is so much more enjoyable. The flowers are brighter, the air smells sweeter, and I watch my life move into directions and places I never imagined.
Even better, I’m slippery! Negative words and disappointments that are inevitable in life slide off; they used to stick and cut into my soul and emotions. Those things still happen but they are not drama-inducing events that ruin a day. It’s almost as if with God directing my days, His favor and Presence are a buffer and filter. Even better than a human parent can offer. A protective coating so the ugliness of this world doesn’t stick like it used to.
Wow! I really do have a good Father!
Here’s to a God-infused life!