Is Your’s a Wonderful Life?

This Christmas we started a new tradition–watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. A classic.

I cried throughout. Despite the positive title, it revolves around situations, people, and events that keep George Bailey from the life he’s always dreamed of. And to top it off, a seemingly impossible crisis finds George a very desperate man.

Many people have been there, or will be some day. What makes life worth living? And how can we follow our dreams?

Here are two key factors:  God and being intentional.

I believe God makes life worth living because he gives me unconditional love, forgiveness, true freedom, purpose, and a hope for the future. And in turn, I can share those with others. Do we really have those things without God?

We can’t always plan how our lives are going to go. Look at George Bailey:  Nothing seemed to be turning out the way he wished, but he was a happy man in the end. At the same time, the dreams we have for our lives won’t happen unless we are intentional with how we live. For example, say you want to be a famous painter, but you spend every spare minute watching TV. A few years later, those hours watching TV haven’t brought you a single step closer to being that famous painter. (You might be able to tell I’ve been reading Quitter, by Jon Acuff)

So. New Year’s Day, I will be working my way through Michael Hyatt‘s Creating Your Personal Life Plan. That is my first step toward being intentional with my life.

What’s your plan for New Year’s Day….or your life?

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A Weekend to Remember

My husband and I attended Weekend to Remember. And it was one of the best weekends we have ever experienced together!

We drove straight there from my work and checked into the hotel. After a quick bite at Panera Bread, we walked into the hotel’s large ballroom to find a couple seats. Right away the speakers were entertaining, informative, and engaging. We had a full schedule from Friday at 7:00 pm until after 12:30 Sunday (schedule).

Saturday evening was “Date Night”. Each couple was on their own. My husband and I chose to go to The Cheesecake Factory. We ordered the Avocado Eggrolls for our appetizer, my husband ordered the Steak Diane and Herb Crusted Salmon, I ordered the Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes as a meal, and we topped it all off by splitting the Mango Key Lime Cheesecake. Mmmmmmmm. Then we went to the movie theater. We chose to watch The Hunger Games, even though neither of us had read the book(s). Good movie.

My favorite part of the weekend, though, was the project assigned Saturday morning.

The instructions were to answer a number of questions about our spouse, along the lines of:  what attracted us to them in the beginning, what we learned to appreciate about them during marriage, how they have helped us grow, etc. Then, we took those answers and formed them into a love letter to our spouse, including committing to our spouse through God’s integrity and unconditional love. In writing my letter to my husband, I started crying when I wrote the words, “You have helped me come to a point of knowing I am a child of God, I belong to God, and I will spend eternity with God. You helped to bring me value–something I have never had before.” And then I continued crying when I read my husband’s love letter to me. A line I’d like to share:  “I am committing to God and you, to trust God more in our differences and weaknesses AND to demonstrate unconditional love through Christ.” Powerful stuff.

And the speakers ended the weekend with another powerful memory:  They had everyone stand. And those who wanted to, faced each other. We said our marriage vows. There were definitely tears. The meaning behind those words had become so much more significant, now that we had experienced some of the joys and trials a married couple can face.

After, we purchased a couple books: For Women Only and For Men Only. Both by Shaunti Feldhahn, with her husband joining her on “For Men Only”.

It was a weekend we will never forget. It was a weekend we wish never ended. It was a weekend to remember!

Weekend to Remember