Kara Nothnagel
Simple Authentic Living


Simple. Authentic. Grace.


Welcome to "31 Days of Words to Love By." For the next 31 days, I am working my way through my Pinterest board of quotes and writing down my thoughts about each one – what they spark, where they lead me, and how they apply to every day life... I will be putting a Five Minute Friday spin on it, by writing for 5 minutes, free flowing and unedited. This largely unedited free-write is linking up with the annual Write 31 Days Challenge. // indicates the start and stop of five minutes. //

Today's quote: My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style".

// I think settling for a "survival mode" existence might well be one of the most frightening prospects in life to me.

There has always been something in me that has gravitated and longed for the epic. The meaningful. The sense of being part of a grande narrative, where each chapter matters.

Post modernism basically taught us, that there is no grand narrative. What you see, is what you get and then it's over.

But you weren't just made to survive, you were made for a victorious adventure.

The Bible makes an incredible statement in the book of Romans. A passionate Paul writes saying "we are more than conquerors". This year my husband asked me "What do you think that actually means? To be more than a conqueror? Surely if you have conquered, then you have conquered..." And in that  moment I was reminded of an account in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego... Who were thrown into the fire after refusing to bow down to the King of the day. They were thrown into a furnace and // while they were in there the angel of the Lord appeared to them and saved them! Epic! And then it says something outrageous about when they emerged - "they didn't even smell like smoke". What?! I don't know about you, but I can't even attend a BBQ without coming home smelling to high heaven and yet these guys were in a furnace and didn't even smell like smoke.

That for me is the picture of what it means to be more than a conqueror. You don't even smell like the fire after you have been through it!

I love the quote up above from Maya Angelou. Let's break down what she is saying.

"My mission in life" - that is a big statement right there! Her mission. She had a mission, a sense of mandate and purpose. A sense of mission anchors and guides your thoughts, attitudes and actions. Do you have a mission? Or are you just drifting through each day?

"...is not merely to survive, but to thrive." When survival mode is your default, you are missing out on the greatness of the life available to you. Survival speaks of managing and coping, not living and thriving. Surviving for me, means living perpetually on a feeling of over stretch and over challenge. It doesn't feel healthy and is not sustainable. Jesus said that He came to give us life and life in abundance. Come on! Life, in abundance. That is what I am talking about. That sounds like the kind of existence where you can't wait to get out of bed, because adventure awaits.

"to do so with some passion" Passion can be overrated, but you better believe that passion is contagious and often unlocks interest, innovation and influence.

"some compassion" - that is basically the 'why' of your life. At the end of the day, people matter. A student of ours recently described and picture of London that she felt God had given her. She saw big concrete tower blocks in a fairly run down community. And she said that "lots of people only see the buildings and the grey concrete and judge an area according to that. But it's like God has infared glasses that allow Him to see the heat signature of the people within the buildings. And that His heart searches for those heat signatures and the people they represent. Because He loves the world. He loves people. They are who He gave His Son for."

Do you see buildings or heat signatures?

"some humour" - Learning to laugh at yourself is one of the best things you will ever do! Because life cannot be that serious, all day, everyday. Life is there for the living! There are things that used to be larger than life for me, that as I have allowed God to being perspective and healing to, have become things that I can laugh about. Not because they are necessarily funny, but because something that once seemed like a mountain, has now become small and "strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

"and some style". You only have one life to live. You may as well live it well, live it with excellence, live it to the full. The Bible says that David had a heart of excellence and He was the man described as being after God's own heart. I see so often that people just do the bare minimum to get by and guess what? That's all they do, is get by and just about make it. But there is a principle in the Word of God about pouring out your all and your best and seeing what God can do with that kind of attitude and giving.

I've loved unpacking this today, because who wants each day to be about just making it through? There is an adventure called life, there to be fully lived. So live it. Thrive, with some passion, compassion, humour and style.

Thanks for stopping by, K x x

Write 31 Days Kara Nothnagel

Write 31 Days Kara Nothnagel

To read more of my 31 Days of Words to Love By Posts, click here

31 Days of 5 minute Fridays

31 Days of 5 minute Fridays

For more information on the Write 31 Days challenge, check out Christina Hubbard’s site!