Learning to Take the Long Term View

When I was pregnant with my second child, I vividly remember lacking the vision to imagine life on the other side of my daughter’s impending birth.  I wasn’t even overdue, yet I was so anxious for her arrival — to move on to that next big thing — that I was starting to imagine that she’d never come.  Ha!  My mother-in-law would call every day during the last week or two before her due date and every call seemed to punctuate my certainty that we in fact would never get there, as if I’d be pregnant for the rest of my life.

Why is it that it can be so natural to live life with a glass half-full, drinking in the wild wonder of it’s moments, yet it’s often as if we don’t truly believe in the hope we profess to have.  At pivotal points where an unwavering hope is most called for – we falter instead.  Perhaps we are most prone to stumble in the seasons in which we are actually the most invested.  After all, anyone can remind themselves that Spring really will follow a long, cold winter – but it can be much harder to maintain a consistent vision for renewal and restoration to follow the dark seasons of our lives.

Ten ideas to make the most of your present while you are waiting for your future

Fast forward years later – This weekend I was a bit weighed down with extra fatigue from a sleepless week and month #3 of bronchitis.  Despite my lack of energy and motivation, I was preparing to rush out the door when in a moment of desperate honesty, I told my husband how much I was dreading leaving for my appointment.  You would think I was off to the gynecologist or a tax audit or something.  But no – After a week of sub-zero temperatures, I was dreading lugging my weary body out into 8 inches of snow to clear off my snugly buried vehicle.  At first I didn’t think too deeply about my husband going ahead of me to clear off my car – I never asked, he just went.  But it hit me once I stepped out into the bright winter wonderland this morning.  Whereas I had been dreading the bitter cold, I realized the reason it suddenly seemed so peacefully perfect standing out there in the freshly falling snow, was because of my subtle attitude adjustment.

You better believe I told my husband how grateful I am for him, but more than that – I asked myself, what would it look like if I always believed there was that kind of future grace to go ahead of me, even when it wasn’t clearly announced to expect it.  How might I approach dark, difficult seasons differently if I dared to dream of the redeeming outcome, even before I had eyes to see it? How would it shape my marriage, my parenting, my life if I allowed the utter abandon of wild hope to seep into my thoughts in the hardest moments?  For my thoughts become my actions, and my actions become my reality.

Again and again, I’ve been reminded that if only I would choose to take the long term view, my future is brought into a focus that makes my present feel much more navigable too. Here’s what I have found to help cast vision for a hopeful future, even when it feels far from view.

Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Present, Even as You are Waiting for Your Future!

They say misery loves company, but what that really means is: Look for others in a similar life stage to connect with!  Your mutual understanding of the challenges of your season will buoy you both. There’s nothing worse than further discouragement because you’ve isolated yourself, believing no one can understand what you’re going through.  Someone out there does, sometimes it just takes a little extra creativity to connect.

Even as it helps to connect with someone going through a similar season in life as our own, the benefit stops when we start to look a little too closely at just how similar, yet different our stories look.  If you can fight the urge to compare, you will both be blessed!

Take time to look at pictures and small mementos of happy times.  Your evidences of past blessing can work wonders towards reminding you that the best is yet to come!

In the meantime, celebrate the small kindnesses in life – let the little moments of unexpected joy boost your gratitude and hope for the future.

Don’t forget to connect with your spouse in the small ways, for it’s the little moments that make life big.  These are exactly the moments that can help sustain a marriage through the hardest of seasons, even as you wait for future grace to carry you into the next.

Remember that despite any temporary suspicion to the contrary, we can do hard things. Surrender to the unexpected gifts of grace when you are reminded just how strong you’re being shaped to become.

Even so, give yourself grace when it’s hard.  Quite simply, hard times call for big, bountiful grace!

Give yourself permission to dream – dream big, bold, beautiful dreams and offer them up in prayer. Put your faith in the power far bigger than yourself.

In the meantime, allow yourself to find something to love about the life you are living, even when it doesn’t look like the life that you hoped for.

Look for the hidden beauty in each day, living each day like it may be your last. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us, so why not make the most of the days we do have – even as we wait in hope for a season of renewal to follow the season of our refining.

Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Present, Even as You are Waiting for Your Future!

How might you approach the trying seasons of your life differently if you dared to dream of the redeeming outcome, even before you had eyes to see it?  Do you believe that grace will go ahead of you, that what you need for each season has already been pre-planned for your good?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  –  Romans 8:28

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21 Comments

  1. birute efe wrote:

    SYBIL, oh my… Were you in my house today? haha… This post couldn’t come in a better time. Thank you for a reminder that we CAN do hard things!

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Aww you are welcome! I’m glad it was timely encouragement for you!

      Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  2. Amy Pikke wrote:

    Great advice, and you have a beautiful blog!

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  3. Tori wrote:

    This was a perfect post to read on a Sunday before I jump into a crazy work week. I’m always looking forward to my next day off but when I do that, I stop living in the present and thinking about all the little things I can do today to make the future better.

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Oh Tori, I hear you – you are definitely not alone in that. May we all stop to appreciate the blessings surrounding us in the present more often!

      Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  4. Kola wrote:

    God bless you for sharing this, Syb. I SO needed this particular line today ” I asked myself, what would it look like if I always believed there was that kind of future grace to go ahead of me, even when it wasn’t clearly announced to expect it”

    Something about the way you put it, helped me to see clearly that I need to remember this — that nothing is so big that I cannot handle it IF i choose to believe that there is some type of “future grace” ( just love that phrase) there for me. ah! you have no idea how thankful i am that you shared this

    i hope you feel better soon! xo

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Kola! You’ve blessed my heart with this comment – so glad you were encouraged! xoxo

      Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  5. Kimberley wrote:

    Thank you for sharing. Some great words there that really encouraged me to think about how I am living my life and how I can change my view.
    God Bless
    Kimberley
    peculiartreasuresblog.com

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      That is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing that with me Kimberley 🙂

      Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  6. Thanks for this reminder. I know with my oldest his birth didn’t go the way I was expecting and so all during his little newborn stage I was trying to process that and figure out how my next birth was going to go, even though I wasn’t pregnant at the time. Looking back I feel like I wished away that precious time, something I definitely do not want to do again.

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Rebekah, I’ve been there and know exactly what you are talking about — much needed reminder for us all!

      Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  7. Wow love your encouraging reminders – this is wonderful for all ages – every stage in our life!

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Aww yes I know I will need to come back and keep re-reading this one to myself when I need the reminder! 😉

      Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  8. This is such a sweet and timely post. I am in one of those “winters” in my life right now and these were such great reminders on a proper attitude. I’m going to feature it in my Blogger Love Post tomorrow if you’re ok with it!

    Posted 2.27.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Of course! So glad it was helpful to you!

      Posted 2.27.15 Reply
  9. Katie wrote:

    You are my bff that I never met. Reading this was like having good coffee talk with a good friend. Thank you!!

    Posted 2.27.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Katie! That absolutely made my day 🙂 Thank YOU!

      Posted 2.28.15 Reply
  10. What great reminders. So much of it comes down to kindness. And the first person we have to be kind to is… ourselves. Thank you!

    Posted 3.2.15 Reply
  11. I love this line, “Perhaps we are most prone to stumble in the seasons in which we are actually the most invested”
    I love your point of view! I think when we are right in the thick of our calling and what God told us to do, Satan tries his best to distract us and sometimes succeed. We just need to keep our focus!

    Posted 3.2.15 Reply