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“I get to”

November 21, 2019

       “I get to.” These three words have been convicting ringing in my head for the past few weeks. I first fully realized the vitality of this phrase in a yoga class a few weeks ago when in the beginning of it, my teacher began by inviting us to still our minds and see our practice that day, and our everyday lives, as blessings “we get to” do. So often, the narrative that plays in my head is “I have to… I have to do this homework… I have to go to school… I have to drive my brothers… I have to exercise… I have to go to church.” The list goes on for many, many pages as you might experience yourself. Our mental narrative is powerful. Changing it is a battle, but we must first acknowledge there needs to be a change before we can work on it. Therefore, that moment in yoga was my “ah ha” moment for the gradual process that has reverberated in my head for the past few weeks. For one, how radically different would we experience every day if we saw each step of it as a privilege, as something “we get to” do? Shifting from “I have to” to “I get to” is a rocky path. It is not perfect, for there has been MANY times in the past weeks that I have dragged my feet along the ground against something I felt burdened with, something that “I had to” do. The issue with this reluctance is that we miss out on the full blessings each day has for us. A mentality of burden and “I have to” keeps us from a life where we experience the full joy of each step. I am so grateful for her words in yoga that day because they have not left me. They have reappeared as a gentle whisper in my mind when I begin to dread my next step. The beauty of the process in changing your mentality is that it is gradual; it may be a two steps back, one step forward thing. That’s okay. It will eventually become a two steps forward, one step back, then a three steps forward, one step back. Without even realizing it, you might be doing ten steps forward, one step back. It will never be perfect, but it may just be worth it. Learning to see each part of your day, even your least favorite thing to do, as an opportunity for growth and blessing is essential to squeezing the joy out of every moment of your life. My fear is that my feet would be dragging so much that they would miss out on the exhilarating race of joy that is possible in each day. How disappointing would it be to look back on a life not maximized and lived by “I have to” versus a life lived through the joy that comes with a mentality of “I get to”? Again, it is nowhere near a perfect process or a transformational moment where everything changes for you in your mental narrative. It can never be something we do on our own perfectly. The strength to change the narrative is found in the Helper, the Healer; God offers full life to all who have faith in Him: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalms 16:11). I cannot help but think that we restrict ourselves from experiencing this fullness of joy when we are stuck in a burdened, heavy mentality of “I have to.” The joy comes in “I get to;” it comes in the choice each morning to offer your day to God’s glory with an openness to all of its opportunities and blessings. We cannot find the blessing if we are focused on what we perceive to be burdens. Life is meant to be so much more than a “I have to” mentality; it is an adventure, one in which we find “the path of life” and the “presence [of the One]” who offers this “fullness of joy.” I hope today you will join me in making the simple choice of surrendering to an “I get to” mentality rather than the burden of “I have to.” 

With love,


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