Vertical Living

Lately I have felt restless. I have felt restless, uncomfortable, exhausted, and not at home in my own environment. My mind has been a bully, but my body has felt like an even bigger one with the lack of sleep, headaches, and constant anxiety. But thankfully…

This weekend has refueled me a bit. I fear that it is short lived – but I won’t even think about that…I want to embrace it, feel it, soak it in, and be thankful for it. The sun finally came out of hiding. It’s rare that it be above freezing in Michigan in February – but for it to reach 65 degrees?!?! Unheard of.

There aren’t words to express my gratitude for God’s gift of a little bit of energizing sunshine. And not only that…but his gift of the people in my life who fill me upand keep me going. These are the people that, instead of saying, “Keep your eyes straight ahead.” “Don’t lose focus.” “Have tunnel vision.” “Keep your eyes on the prize.” or any variation of one of those “motivational” sayings…these people remind me, “Hey, look up.” Look up and see God, see His plan, His calling, His mighty hands at work. Look up to the King and feel Him smiling down on you.

I think just needed to know that sunshine still exists and that the world can thaw out again. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I can survive. And that’s what these people do for me. The people who fill up our souls, who accept, love, cherish, and embrace us…the ones who encourage us to live vertically…those are the relationships worth pursuing. We can make our way through life one day at a time – crossing each one off our calendars as we go. We can check off all the boxes next to the endless items on our “to-do” lists. But if we fail to live vertically – to examine the height and depth of the beauty around us – we’re not absorbing all God has for us here on earth.

A sponge that doesn’t absorb moisture doesn’t do a very good job cleaning up any messes. That’s not to say that it’s our job to clean up after others – its just to point out that, if we aren’t saturated and obsessed with the love and glory of Jesus Christ in our lives, how can we expect to share His love and mercy with the ones around us. How can we expect to help others live vertically if we are stuck looking straight ahead, reading left to right, crossing the days on the calendar off one after the other, etc.

We can look forward to the future or backwards to the past, but the best way to stay on track and keep our hearts in the right place is to look up – look up to God. Lift your head and whisper a prayer, a plea, a song of thanks – no matter what it is you are saying…say SOMETHING. And look up.

Thank you Jesus for some sunshine, a little pup whose silly soul makes me laugh, smile, and roll my eyes everyday, the gift of music, the gift of community, worship, friends, and most importantly – your never-ending love, forgiveness, and grace.


“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
Louisa May Alcott

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
Joseph Addison



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