Abundant Life This Side of Heaven

by Susan Davis

We hear a great deal about Quality of Life (QOL) as we age, something to strive for even though we may not be exactly sure what it looks like. A great cup of coffee in the morning, a beautiful sunset, precious time with grandchildren, travel to a new, exotic destination, a new knee when the old one gives out? These are all good, maybe great things that will add value to our lives.

As believers in Jesus, we know our source for quality life: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Jesus comes to give, not to get. He comes that people may have life in Him that is meaningful, purposeful, joyful, and eternal.

So how can we pursue Jesus’ promise on this side of heaven?
Writers suggest ways to improve QOL for seniors: manage depression, participate in regular physical activity, find purpose, be mentally active, and stay connected with family and friends. But how can we intentionally add those special activities and moments to each day?

As part of our SJD RightCare home visit to seniors, we talk about this Quality of Life component and have a surefire way to make “the good things happen.” We define QOL as “expanding meaningful daily activities to enhance the fullness of your life.” How can we maximize QOL, based on individual choices and preferences, and make it part of our routine lives? As seniors some of us tend to let life wash over us, the complacency of the mundane versus the tyranny of the urgent in our younger days, rarely making a conscious decision to do something meaningful or special each day. After 20 years of research, SJD RightCare has a way to change that.

Importance and Enjoyment
The extent of a person’s Quality of Life is determined by two factors: importance and enjoyment. Is what I choose to do important, or is it enjoyable? (Extra points if it is both!) A good QOL strategy is adaptable to the lives of any person, at any time, and from their own individual perspective.

Your challenge is to initially reflect on things that make you feel good, engaged, challenged, or joyful. Get creative and reflect deeply. Come up with 48 of them and write them down.

During your week, consciously make time to add some of these activities each day and each week. Maybe it’s taking a nap, calling a friend, or going bowling. If your goal is to add joy, you must find out what gives you joy and then schedule it often. The key to success is writing it down!

Call or email Director of Seniors Ministry Susan Davis at 713.354.2264 for a free Quality of Life calendar to help you schedule a week of well-being. We can help walk you through this fun process and learn the key to meaningful engagements that bring an enhanced QOL. Yes, bible reading and reflection should be on that calendar too!

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