By Taylor Quintini
In my young-married-pre-children years, my husband and I took the most incredible trip to the Seattle area and ended up in Canada. The scenery mixed with the weather in July was like a dream. Neither of us southerners had ever ventured to the Pacific Northwest so the entire trip was quite an adventure. One day we found ourselves on a hike in a national park. More accurately in my opinion we were climbing a mountain – literally. There was a “trail” and lots of people just walked leisurely with their babies and pets. Easy Breezy! We started our hike and after not too much time I thought we were certainly close to the top. The terrain was rough and so my legs were burning and my heart was pounding while I was wiping sweat from my face in mild 70-degree weather.
After an eternity seemed to have passed, we turned a corner and literally we were eye level with massive trees. Still on our “trail” I seriously began to fear for my life. I thought this is crazy because I am on the edge of a cliff and one little slip and I will be meeting Jesus very soon. This certainly was not how I envisioned meeting my Maker in my mid-twenties! As we cautiously continued to climb, we did eventually make it to the top. Literally, I was on a mountaintop. The feeling was exhilarating. The cool breeze was so powerful and refreshing. The view was extraordinary and I realized in that moment that I could only attain that view because I was willing to change my perspective and tackle the climb. Of course, I could not remain there forever. I had to come down. Down the mountain, down to the airport on a plane back to the hot south and down further until I reached my daily life. Work, the grind, the stress, the responsibilities and tasks…"the dailies” – it was nothing like my mountain top moment. Far less scenic and exhilarating, I was no longer able to shout, “I am the Queen of the World!” for it to echo back and reaffirm me. The Lord began a rather lengthy process of speaking to my heart in that still small voice, rather than in epic triumphant shouts like I prefer. What if separation from the mountaintop MUST come for GROWTH sake? What if I started THRIVING in my own dailies and not merely SURVIVE them until I reached my next vacation or achievement?
I want to jump right into this with you through a 4-part blog series where we focus on seizing the daily for the glory of God and making our aim grace and not perfection in our own current seasons. I would like to unpack what it is the Lord is asking of us right where we are – individually and uniquely in our own lives. Surely our times and seasons are in His hands (Psalms 31:15). He has not abandoned us when we are engulfed by day-to-day life, but what is it He is speaking when we are completely aware of the fact that we are on the backside of a mountain and nowhere near the top?
For a Christ follower that wants to know the Lord and serve Him well, one of the biggest lessons to be learned is that it is our relationship and communion with Jesus that gives us great vision! It is not our vision that gives us a great relationship with Him! Remember, Jesus did not say Follow the Vision, Follow the Dream…. no He said, “Follow Me”. And while you are at it, “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24)…OUCH! This is a call to all believers – Follow Me right where you are! To do this, the first step is to deny yourself by dying a painful death to self seeking, ambition and promotion. Sounds lovely! My spirit thinks so, but my flesh wants nothing of it. The command is simple, do not make excuses about your circumstances or conditions just follow Jesus right where you are. If we are following, then surely He is in front of us guiding, leading and pioneering the path on which we journey.
Does this call still apply when I am paying bills, doing laundry, running errands, working in a cubicle, or making a meal for a neighbor? If He is calling me to follow Him, then surely He always desires to lead me. Always. How quickly are we pushing God out of our dailies and segmenting Him into only being involved in times where we are at church, Bible study or putting worship music on? It is either His Kingdom or my Kingdom – it cannot be both.
John 15 teaches us that Jesus is the true vine. Verse 5 says- “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in Him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing!” – what is it that Jesus is talking about here? Of course this doesn’t mean you will fail at everything or never be successful, but unless there is this back and forth relationship, communion and abiding then you will not do anything for the Father and His Kingdom. It is either His Kingdom or my Kingdom – it cannot be both.
And while I absolutely believe that God wants to speak to us and hear from us while we are washing dishes or sitting in traffic or spending time with our kids, we still must ask ourselves if we are we making time to intentionally deepen our relationship with Him. Believe me I understand that to be honest about this can be a challenge. Busyness can engulf us like a tidal wave and brutally beat us until we feel we have no sense of control over our own time. My husband loves the saying “Followers find time, but leaders make time”. Sometimes I am empowered when he says this and other times I want to punch him in the eye and defend my busy schedule and myself. Yet the truth remains, we make time for what matters most. Period. We show our priorities in how we spend our time, so quietly and intentionally communing with Jesus needs to become a part of our very own dailies. It is either His Kingdom or my Kingdom – it cannot be both.
As we start out this blog series, I want to challenge you to take some time of reflection and journal the things in your heart as I present some applicable questions. Allow the Lord to speak truth into your soul right where you are.
In this season of my life, what do my dailies look like right now? Get as specific as you want! Think of everything under your realm of responsibility and influence.
How does the Lord want to use my dailies to help me GROW? (What might He be teaching me or working in me?)
Am I THRIVING in my own dailies or merely SURVIVING them? Evaluate your outlook and attitude.
Am I pushing God out of my dailies and segmenting Him into only being involved in times when I am at church, Bible study or putting worship music on?
Am I simply waiting for my next mountaintop moment to hear from the Lord? Or am I actively seeking Him in the thick of my daily life?
Do I make time for what matters most? Am I intentionally investing time into knowing the Lord in an even deeper way?
Sweet sisters, the good news today is that no matter what our dailies look like there is a Savior who wants to be totally involved in all of the details. Take heart because there is no circumstance too great or no task too menial that His presence could be withheld from. He leads us to the mountaintop, but He is also with us in the valley.
I pray the Lord would speak to your heart as you intentionally evaluate where you are and how you can be more aware of His presence, work and power in your life in the every day.
Intentionally Finding Grace in My Dailies:
- Daily commit yourself to surrendering your heart and will to knowing Him more than you are concerned with doing something for Him. Remember our character is always more important than our comfort.
- Be mindful of Jesus in the dailies! Trust He is at work. It is not my job to figure it all out or make sense of everything; rather it is my job to be faithful where I am.
- Make time for what matters most – quiet your soul before Him and then commune with Him even in the midst of your busy schedule.
About Taylor Quintini
I am thrilled that Taylor agreed to share this 4 part series with us. Taylor and her husband, Jeremy, live just outside of Baton Rouge. Jeremy is the Executive Pastor at Journey Church and Taylor loves to minister alongside of him. She is also the owner of Weddings Taylor Made, a wedding & event planning company (www.weddingstaylormade.com), she serves on the Refresh team and she does all of this while making sure her three littles are loved, fed, clothed, and clean (repeat). When I say little, I mean her three kids are 3 years old and 2 years old, and 7 months. I may need a nap just thinking about it all. Taylor is a natural leader, her heart is passionate for the Lord and she has a strong desire to share Him with others. I am not sure how the Lord managed to pack so much in such a petite person, but Taylor is brimming over with wisdom, she is strong, honest, and always aspiring to do more for the Lord. I am grateful that she takes time to jot her thoughts on paper and lets me share them with the world wide web.