The Life You 've Always Wanted Essay

The Life You 've Always Wanted Essay

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In Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted (2002), I found myself drawn to three chapters. These included: A “Dee Dah Day,” An Unhurried Life, and A Life of Freedom. As I read the chapters, I found they each one seemed to build on the other. Ortberg (2002) described how to focus on the little things that bring joy to your life, slow down and appreciate the beauty in God’s work, and live your life in a manner where you seek only to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as opposed to being addicted to the approval of others.
In chapter 4, Ortberg (2002) talks about how his child finds joy in little moments. This is something that came easy for me as a child, but as I’ve grown older, I find it does not come as easily. Ortberg describes this as the “illusion that joy will come someday when conditions change” (Ortberg, 2002, pp. 68). This statement resonated with me because it has taken me several years of wallowing in grief over the loss of my son to realize that experiencing joy is something I must choose each day when I get out of bed. Once I realized this, I began to reframe my thoughts about life. I’ve found that by helping others without anyone knowing, I have found an unspeakable joy. I think this is what Ortberg means when he says “True joy comes only to those who have devoted their lives to something greater than personal happiness” (Ortberg, 2002, pp. 68). To me, this means keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open to those around me who are suffering and try to bring some amount of joy to their life. Sometimes this is as simple as a smile and other times, it is much more complex I’ve found that by helping others to celebrate, I feel joy more fully.
When I give of myself to help others feel joy, I have to be aware to re-fill my ow...


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...y the truth will come out” (Ortberg, 2002, pp. 167). I have felt this way for quite sometime until a year ago when I realized that much of the anxiety I was experiencing was due to not being true to myself. I am flawed and that is ok. I appreciate the explanation Ortberg gives of doing something good and trying to make sure no one finds out about it, as that is a practice I have started to implement. In reading this chapter, I realize that I need to be more involved in praying for God to show me ways daily that I can find ways to bless someones life on a daily basis without them knowing. I also plan to implement the “secret service day” where I have “no agenda of my own but to simply be home and available” (Ortberg, 2002, 170). By finding ways to celebrate joy, slow down, and practice secret servanthood, I believe I will move closer to the life God wants me to live.

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