rebelling against low expectations

Time to Start Living


I have a confession to make. I spend a lot of time pouring over words and pictures of things I want to be. The life I want to live.

I read about strong heroines facing danger and struggling valiantly towards a cause bigger than themselves.

I spend hours on Pinterest looking at pretty pictures and epic scenes, adventures and sunshine and battles and life.

I research how to stay healthy and strong, dreaming of how wonderful life would be if I was gorgeously toned and fit.

I’ve spent much of my summer so far dreaming and thinking. Lost in the life I wish I lived. Eyes glued to a screen, slouching on the couch.

Meanwhile, the wind is dancing through the woods fifty feet from my back door and black raspberries shine ripe in their prickery patches. I have a blog waiting for a post to be written. Four siblings to pour out love on. Neighbors to reach out to. A Bible to read.

My to-do list sits in scattered parts of my brain, fermenting in procrastination and a bit of fear.

But you know what? It is high time that I get moving. High time that I start living. Because one of those dreams I have is to come to the end of my life on earth full of wrinkles and stories.

I want to have wrung every drop of life out of every day. To have poured myself out for Jesus and others, to have lost my life so I can have Jesus’ life instead.

But none of that is going to happen while I sink deeper into the couch cushions.


Starting now, I am going to live dangerously. I am going to truly live.

And I am so excited because I have almost two months left of my summer break from school! I’d say it’s the perfect time to start living.

I want to challenge you to do something with your summer as well! You have days and days and days to fill up this Summer. And each of those days consist of 24 hours. 1440 minutes.

Go, conquer your to-do list. Fight a battle in Jesus’ name. Fall into bed worn out and grinning tonight.

I challenge you to do this because I want you to live. To truly live.

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Photo courtesy of Dmitry Kichenko and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Ariel Abke

is a 17-year-old homeschool graduate who is earning a degree in English through CollegePlus. She has a passion for anything outdoors, healthy living, and connecting with young girls in love and an open, vulnerable heart. Ariel is learning — always learning — to surrender her life to Christ, one moment at a time.


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  • “…full of wrinkles and stories…” I loved this, Ariel! Thanks so much for sharing. Now, off to work on those 1440 minutes…!

  • Awesome! I totally feel that way sometimes- like there are ninty seven thing that i could be doing right now, but i really just want to sit here under my warm lap top in the AC… Thank-you for your thought provoking (I have always wanted to sat that!) artical! i loved it and maybe today those 97 things will actually get done! Thank you!

  • Same here!
    You know, I’m glad to hear that. That someone else has that resolution–to start living, rather than sitting and surfing the net. I hope, Ariel, that you’ll not only hold to this resolution, but get up and get moving. And I hope we’ll hear your stories!
    I like Lauren’s comment, a quote from your article: “full of wrinkles and stories…” 😉 I may not look forward to having wrinkles, but I also want to have a lot of stories to tell whoever asks me.
    On a personal note, I understand where you’re coming from. Procrastination has buried itself deep within me. And fear–yes, fear’s a big problem for a lot of us, isn’t it? It holds a different appearance for each of us. Me? I fear mistakes. Making mistakes, or doing something, that does not glorify God. And not being able, or willing, to bounce back from that and turn it around, or myself around, to glorify God again.
    Thanks for writing, Ariel. This came at the right time for me, as I had just had this resolution today, and then sank back into old ways of living–or, not living. As it is, I will pray, and I hope you will pray, that you and I and anybody else fighting this battle will get up off of their couch or their bed and just live. With the power and mercy of our wonderful God.

    • Thanks so much for your honesty. I’m so glad God orchestrated this post when you needed it! I know I need a wake up call like this just about every day.

  • Ariel – thank you soooooo much for posting this!! I so needed it. It came at just the right time. 🙂

  • Another good thing about living life on the edge, Ariel, is that your approach doesn’t change with age. Living life to the full, taking risks, wearing a smile, loving people in Jesus name–works at age 18 AND age 64. Great article! Well done!

  • Wow, you just resumed my thoughts. I think and think and wish I had the life I see on the computer screen and on Instagram, just putting myself down and forgetting I still have lungs that work, you know? Unfortunately, my classes have started again today xD However, I hope I find a way to truly living despite this. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

    • I totally understand. That’s why I wrote this post. 😛 I’m sure you can find a way to live life to the full even while taking classes!

  • Great article!! Too many people spend their summer lying around and doing nothing instead of making a difference in their world. Hopefully this motivates others as much as it motivated me! 🙂

  • Ariel,
    Thank you so much for posting this article. After reading it yesterday, I realized how lazy I am!! I made a list of my goals for the summer and got to work! I’m so thankful that God sovereignly orchestrated my life so that I could read this article at just the right moment to really do something about it!
    Great job and keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Awesome! I’m so so glad God used my words to impact your life! I pray that you will continue to be effective for His kingdom as the days go by!

  • Slouching on the couch, eyes glued to the screen? That’s a wake up call. Perfectly described me as I read that. This article is what I need right now. Thanks for posting.
    Don’t. Waste. Your. Life!

  • Amazing that a lot of people are waiting until they turn 16, then 18, then 21, hoping that then, at that time, they would start living, because they get to drive alone, or drink, or vote. But the waiting is what kills spirit. This article reminded me of that.

  • Thanks, Ariel! This is really inspiring and motivating. I especially love the challenge to “Fall into bed worn out and grinning tonight.” That’s exactly what I need to be thinking during my day. 🙂

  • Thanks for this. I really needed to hear it. Has anyone else heard the song “I Lived” by OneRepublic? It’s one of my favorite songs ever and I think it really speaks.

  • I daydream about a ‘perfect’ life everyday. This post is really encouraging because I know for sure that I’m not the only one. Thanks for writing it!

By Ariel Abke
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →