Why does it often take us being completely stopped in our tracks to learn what is important in life? Why must our daily routine and “normal” life be brought to a screeching halt for us to reevaluate our priorities?
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Maybe it is because with the 24 hour go-go lifestyle and constant background noise of today (cell phones dinging, car horns blaring, televisions chirping), that things must absolutely be brought to a stop, to get our attention. All our distractions must be ceased so that we can focus on taking a look at where we are and where we are going and to listen to what God has to say to us.
I experienced one of those life halting events, immediately following the birth of my child. After a joy-filled 9 month pregnancy, within 3 hours of delivering my child, I began a descent into a 4 month long extremely serious battle with postpartum depression. This battle left me at times nearly incapacitated. My family (bless my wonderful family) was left to hold things together the best they could and push me through the day-to-day motions like the zombie I was.
During this time I had to take a leave from my job (work was an important part of my identity), left the house as infrequently as possible, and engaged in a long, painful fight to regain a functioning life again. Going through this process I questioned God at times. Why me? Why is what is supposed to be one of most joyous times of my life the most difficult? Why is my family having to endure such stress because of me? So many questions. What seemed like so few answers at the time.
What I came to learn months after emerging from this gut-wrenching journey was that it would become one of the most pivotal moments in my life. Literally changing my very being, and for so much the better. For me, when all else crumbled around me, clarity came. God helped me see that what really mattered in my life, the people. Not the job title, not lots of possessions, not community standing. None of that mattered when I was at my lowest, only the people did. More than a decade later, I still try to keep my main focus on what God’s will is for me in serving the people around me. Some days I do well, some days I completely screw things up. The important thing for me is that I keep trying.
What has prompted me to share this chapter of my life now, though I have never done so before publicly in writing?
It is a book by Ruth Soukup called Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life. In the book, Ruth candidly details how experiences in her life such as her own bout with serious depression and a shopping habit that nearly cost her a marriage as well as her successes, including a blog with millions of page views a month, have taught her what living well and living the Good Life is all about. And just as I found through my own life-altering experiences, the Good Life is most often not what we think it is.
In her book, Ruth incorporates personal stories and practical action plans, to inspire and empower all of us to make real and lasting changes to personal goals and finances. Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life is real, honest, and speaks to the heart of the matter—how each of us can live the life we’ve always wanted? I highly recommend this book because of the doable steps she gives for finding your own life lived well, as well as , her true honesty about what it takes to get there. Don’t miss this life changer. Check it out at Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life