fullest

There's a phrase I've heard and used, especially in Christian circles.

Live life to the fullest.

I believe it's true God wants us to live our fullest life, but this phrase is often interpreted to mean fill your life. Jam-pack it so full in order to meet your expectations and the expectations of others.  

Some can handle a jam-packed schedule, and some people in my life would say Aaron and I live this way, but I believe filling your life simply to make it full doesn't fill your soul. And that's what I believe the phrase is trying to grasp.

Live in a way where your soul is constantly filled.

Here are some ways I do that: 

Serve people

I just came back from a week of youth camp. My husband, eight other leaders, and I took 36 students to the mountains to join other youth groups for a week of games, worship, and community.

The first year I went to youth camp as a leader, I was guilty when I felt God speaking to me. I didn't think I was allowed to be spoken to because the week was supposed to be about students.

After nine years of camps, I've realized the reason God was speaking to me is because I was focused on others. He knew my heart wasn't turned toward myself, and I was in a vulnerable place with others seeking him, and He spoke to me. 

When you fill your life with giving to others, you get back more than you'd expect. Selfish people are easy to come by; people who lay down their lives and their agendas for others are a little more difficult.

However, selfless people can easily be taken advantage of if they don't put boundaries in place.

Say no

What fills my soul won't always fill your soul, and what fills your soul won't always fill mine.

Obviously, saying no doesn't fill your life, but in order to live life to the fullest, you have to say no to certain things.

I love to be around people, but there are times when I need a bubble bath, dark chocolate, and my current book in order to fill my soul. This week is full of moments with people--I work as a Technical Writer for Planning Center, and our company takes four weeks out of the year to all come together for a retreat of sorts. This week, in particular, is crafted for family involvement.

I love the idea of getting to know the families of my coworkers, but tonight, I needed to be by myself, reading and writing. The next three nights, I'll play games and laugh and meet lots of new friends--but not tonight.

Saying no allows me to cut away what I'm not truly passionate about.

Simplify

In order to live a full life, you have to know what you're living for. What's your passion? Are you doing that, or are you biding your time?

There are definitely seasons of life that feel like time wasters, where I believe God is sharpening a tool in your toolbelt you'll need later in life--or you might need right now. But, while you're in that season, are you still actively pursuing what you love?

The best way to determine that answer is to look at where you spend your time and money. If your time and money point to your passion, you're pursuing that passion even if you're not actively doing it right now.

However, if your time and money point otherwise, start deciding what you can cut away. What can be released in order for you to simplify to life your life to the fullest?

And to take it a step further, what are you too afraid to allow yourself to do?

Say yes

After being on this planet for 27 years and talking with lots of girls about insecurity, I had hoped my insecurities would just be gone. 

However, I often limit myself from enjoying life because I don't say yes.

I don't go on the zipline at camp because I'm too lazy and a little scared.
For a long time, I didn't create this blog because I didn't know how people would respond to it.
I don't text my friend who's going through a hard time because I'm not sure if she'll want to talk to me about it.

I wait for something better to come along--FOMO, anyone?--and then regret not saying yes when nothing comes.

Instead, it's better when I just say yes to those ideas that seem a little scary.

The zipline is a blast, and if I was scared, my students would get a kick out of my screams.
This blog has been one of the best things for me, regardless of the response of others. However, if you're reading this, you're the best ever.
My friend needs a friend. So even if she doesn't want to talk to me, maybe that'll prompt her to reach out to someone else.


These four guidelines help me live life to the fullest.

Do you have any guidelines that help you live life to the fullest? What do you think about these guidelines?